How I Was Schooled Today :)

25 Apr

teaching picToday I had the privilege of teaching a first grade class in a the small town of Leslie. Wait. I must correct myself. I WAS TAUGHT by a very sweet first grade class in a small sweet town just south of mine.
I entered “my” classroom just after lunch hour, ready to make friends and influence little people. I was ready to show them the wonders of estimation, find their addition super powers, and leave them awed at how wonder substitute teachers can be. Yea, that is JUST what happened….

So after the first hour, after I realized that I was spending all my time helping them focus so they could actually do some work ( so I would look good in front of the teacher ),I decided it was time to pull out the consequences. Recess was at stake now! If little bottoms did not sit down on little chairs, and if little feets did not connect with the little rugs, little children would be losing minutes for recess. Oh really? They seemed to say, with their sly whispers and feet still in contortionists positions over the backs of their chairs. Yep, they called me on it! If I was going to get any respect, I was going to have to follow through.


Wouldn’t you know I had indoor recess because of rain?

Can you guess what happened?

I had to cancel recess.

Little bottoms sat on little seats, little feet stayed on little rugs and by the end of recess time, most of them were satisfied their work was done.
And they forgave me for it.

The rest of the day was a breeze, they laughed with me, drew me pictures with their next small break, read their books and took directions.

Where were these little people when I really needed this lesson??
Twenty years ago, I REALLY REALLY needed to know it was ok to set boundaries!

So there I was this afternoon, saying good bye to a handful of kids as they walked onto their buses, fresh faced and forgiving. I stood there in the spring sun and thought about how kind words telling people where they cannot cross, and firm consequences don’t have to spell the end of the day.

I am thinking that this class needs to spend more time teaching grown ups!


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