Monday, September 25, 2006

Bad Teacher, No Dry Erase Markers For You!

I was bad and gave my kids candy today. It was just a little bit, but I feel naughty nonetheless. We are barred, in our district, from distributing "food of minimal nutritional value." It was organic honey candy, dammit! Because, clearly, they don't get enough sugar at home! Ha.

They were darling angels. I had one of those days where teaching just went really well and the principal came in at precisely the right moment where every single one of them was obviously engaged and learning. I pretty much always am confident that I want to stay with this line of work, but days like today reinforce that. With the support of my team teachers, I rearranged the 4th grade reading into small groups, seven students to a teacher. It was a lot of work, since I put together every bit of material for three teachers, but it was worth it. It's fun to have seven students sitting (or lying) on the floor of my classroom, being excited about a book we're reading.

I have discovered that this is one of the best resources for an Anglo bilingual teacher such as myself. I absolutely could not think of the Spanish word for bead today, and none of my Spanish speakers could figure out exactly what I was talking about. Safe search is automatically on in the schools, so I didn't have to worry about, say, images of anal beads popping up. I use the image search a lot to reinforce vocabulary and the kids just love it that they get to use the internet at school.

I did do something bad today, aside from the candy. One of my students, Belinda, got flustered with Esperanza and said something to the effect of, "Get your fucking hands off my stuff!" I tried hard to pretend I didn't hear it, because, frankly, Esperanza deserved it, and it wasn't said to her with any maliciousness, more like exasperation. Esperanza, of course, tattled, and was confused when I asked her why she was messing with Belinda's stuff instead of getting onto Belinda for saying the almighty Effword. Hell, I was rather proud of her for using her English words. Then Esperanza dropped her pencil box and immediately said, "Dammit!" I couldn't help it. I cracked up. Esperanza asked me why I was laughing so hard and I told her that she had just tattled on Belinda for saying you-know-what and turned around and let a dammit slip but a moment later. She blushed and Belinda gave her best neener-neener face.

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