Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sometimes you just have to laugh

After a few months of failing to find a job in this tough market, I started on the path to becoming a teacher. Teachers, too, are getting hit in this economy, but high school math teachers seem to be always in demand. I've already realized I'm not cut out to be an elementary school teacher, but a huge shout-out to those who are. Last year Keegan had a truly awesome 1st grade teacher, who started out the year saying he wasn't "cute or artsy enough" to teach 1st grade (he'd moved from 2nd). Suffice it to say he did a bang-up job, even managing to learn a few things when he made his very own sock puppet bandero for market day.

Teachers don't just need patience and skills and creativity, though, what really gets them through the day I think is a sense of humor. Helps as a parent, too. Check this little ditty out. It was a in a book of Spanish nursery rhymes my son brought home in his kindergarten homework bag. He usually gets one book in Spanish, and even at the kindergarten level I usually can't understand most of it. This was translated, though, and we got a huge laugh. Was that wrong? I'm sure it sounds better in Spanish.

My younger son's kindergarten teacher is really a saint. She has an amazing amount of patience and an awesome sense of humor. She told me once she'd lined all the kids up to go to the cafeteria. The leader took it upon himself to march the rest of the kids down, forgetting they were supposed to wait for a teacher, or at least an adult, to accompany them. She was very proud. To date my son's been asked to stop throwing himself down on the carpet in his patented wrestling move, moved from the spot near the wall since he stopped paying attention when he leaned against the wall, and not to get sucked into hitting and spitting at your friends. Seems the boys love to play the "how hard can you hit me game?" and I was once warned that he just might mention that a little boy had pulled his pants down and several others followed suit. My friend was called to the principal once when her son had been caught competing for who could pee the farthest, so I'm feeling pretty good right about now.

My other son does not seem to posses the "boy" traits that keep kids from sitting still, so I asked my son what he did that drove his teacher crazy. "We tell the girls to hide all the erasers in their desks." He said when someones absent and his teacher can't find the erasers she'll usually find a stash in the absentee's desk. Erasers are a rare and valuable commodity in the classroom when I volunteer, and I remember the teacher pondering where on earth they all go each day.
It's book club time again at Silicon Valley Moms blog and this post was inspired by Phillip Done's second book, Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood. I reviewed this book here and if you're interested, his first book here. Those of us who live in the bay area got to hear him read from the book. I feel a special connection, since he started his teaching career in Sunnyvale, where I live, lives in Mountain View, where my kids go to school, and now teaches in Palo Alto, where my mom wants our kids to go. Maybe if I knew he'd be teaching them I'd jump on board. Little tip from Phillip about teacher gifts. In addition to telling your friends and neighbors (and blog readers) how much you love your teachers, give them a card thanking them.


  1. That translation is too funny. I think "palmaditas" might be closer to a slap on the wrist, rather than a full-blown beating :)

  2. Hi. Phil Done here, author of Close Encounters. I enjoyed reading your post!