I had no idea what a legacy I was leaving until... student council announced “Dress Up Like a Teacher” day. I figured some of my former female students might dress up as me, but I was completely flabbergasted when my former 2nd grader and present 5th grader came to school fully festooned as…ME! From short blonde wig and glasses, scarf and skinny jeans, to high-heeled boots, he had impersonated me to a T! “My mom drew the line at make-up,” he ruefully confessed. His mother is a fellow 2nd grade teacher in our district, whom I have always admired and of whom I have sought her good opinion, especially while instructing her son in 2nd grade—her area of expertise! Much to my delight, I was “well received” and I embraced the privilege of having K.C. in my class. At the end of his 2nd grade year, I sent home the following comment in his report card, “I have so enjoyed having K.C. in class this year! K.C. is a voracious reader! Encourage him to read carefully and use details to express his comprehension. K.C. writes with fluency and organization. He is conscientious about applying interesting word choice in his writing. I loved K.C.’s wrap-up sentence when writing about his life from a cactus’ perspective: “Soon my children will arrive and tell my legacy.” Little did I realize the word of prophesy that conclusion would prove to be until K.C. showed up in my classroom costumed as a tribute to me! Ms. E.: inspiring the next generation of transvestites!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
I knew decoding instruction and vocabulary development would be cacophonous when... one of my students asked, “What are Beef Ovens?” The word was Beethoven. One of my other students mistook the Catholic church Holy Cross for Holy “Crisis.” Another student misspelled Mexico as Mexicow! I guess together that would spell “Holy Cow!”
I knew the holiday gift exchange would be revealing when... one of my students handed me a tiny purple penguin pail overflowing with candy, chocolate, and…Sensual Hand Cream! The description read, “Awaken your senses. Jasmine Absolute relaxes the mind and inspires sexy self-confidence. Vanilla Absolute helps soothe and calm so you feel at ease.” Initially, I pondered the multiple-choice mentality:
a. “What kind of person do these parents take me for? Do I honestly come across as a blond bimbo?
b. Or does the family pity my solitary state and generously offer a helping ‘hand’ in spicing up my scent/sex life?!!
c. However, it was the final option that was least offensive and most probable. The Sensual Hand Cream simply smelled good and would protect my hands in the bitter cold winter weather we were beginning to experience.
After choosing option c, my 60 something colleague down the hall, asked me if I’d received a gift from her student’s twin brother, and if so, what was it? When I told her, she expressed that she had received the same gift! We shared our bewilderment, relief that “it wasn’t just me!,” and a good laugh!
I knew parent teacher conferences would prove interesting when... I had to contact two parents via facebook to confirm their son’s conference; then, when the father didn’t show, he followed up with a chat message suggesting that we meet for a drink or two or play some pool and talk about how he could help his son. Oh, dear! What have I gotten myself into?!!
I knew third grade tutoring would be reaffirming when... a parent emailed me and said, “Your time is valuable, and what you are doing is priceless.”
I knew teaching third grade would be rewarding when... my class was listening to a guest author presentation. The author explained that each person is born with a birthday gift: our talent. Some are born with one; some with many. She described a talent as something you enjoy doing yet have to practice to improve your skill. She asked the teachers to share an example of one of our hobbies or talents. Before I could even respond, one of my bright, outgoing, well-liked students blurted out, “I know what Ms. E’s talent is: teaching!” Tears sprang to my eyes, and a smile burst on my face! I was overwhelmed with emotion, joy and affirmation. What an inspiring way to conclude my close encounters of the third-grade!
On the last day of school on the last day of outdoor cross-walk duty, one of my students approached me and said, “My favorite part about third grade was having you as my teacher.”
On the first day of summer vacation, I received my first letter from a student. It was his original illustration of the Blackhawks logo that he had created in art class.