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Friday, January 07, 2005

Rainy Day Insecurities….

This call came late morning for 1st grade class at a local school I hadn’t been to before. This is also my first working school day of the New Year and the pouring rain meant the kids were not going to have much recess time today.

The 1st grade teacher evidentially got sick just before the kids arrived for class. As a result, the prepared lesson plan was of “minimal” content.

Most of the plan consisted of “Catch up” activity. Meaning “Do the stuff you didn’t have time to complete on Mon-Thurs. Problem is that these 6 year olds didn’t have all that much to catch up on.

Plan item for 11:00pm listed “Do Yellow Folder”.

I asked some of the kids if they had a yellow folder. Sure enough, they all did and proudly displayed for me their completely empty yellow folders.

I love it when a well detailed “plan” comes together!

A noon time announcement confirmed that the lunch time recess was cancelled and that the kids were to return to their class rooms after eating. I inquired at the office how long I had for the shortened lunch period before the kids returned to the classroom.

She assured me that the roving yard duty people would monitor the kids in class while I had my full 40 minute lunch in the staff lounge. I’m thinking “Three or four yard duty people looking in on 8-10 individual classrooms? How does that work? Hummmm”

Of course, on the way back to class after lunch, three of “my kids” came running out the door saying they were looking all over for me “For a long, long time!” One of the kids in the class was bawling his eyes out sobbing “We thought you weren’t coming back for us!”

A short questioning revealed that no “yard duty” person came to stay with “my kids”. They spent the last 20 minutes unsupervised in the classroom wondering if I had abandoned them.

At least they were happy to see me again! They COULD have been groaning with disappointment for showing up the rest of the day.

It took a few minutes to get them settled and the water works turned off so we could return to a class routine.

Next time I’ll know better than to ignore my gut feeling.

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