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Monday, November 19, 2007

Something to be thankful for

Anybody have this whole week off -- raise your hands!

I thought I'd kick start the week by posting about something to give thanks for. One aspect of my daily job that I truly enjoy.

I LOVE the very end of the school day, when the kids get on the buses. OK, at first glance that's going to seem very cynical, but let me explain a little further.

Between us, my partner -- Ms. Jenn Ed -- and I have 42 kids. We are required to walk them all individually to their buses. Since there are 12 buses, as well as day care buses and parent pick up on the other side of the building, we decided to divide and conquer. We chose one of the buses, and I take all of the kids who ride that bus and all of the ones in front of it, and she takes all the kids who ride the buses behind it and the parent pick up kids. As it turns out, my group has about 30 kids in it, and hers has about 12. So actually getting the kids out of our classrooms and all the way down the hall to the outside can be somewhat of a hassle each day. But once we are outside, that's when it gets fun.

To make sure everyone gets on the correct bus, I use a system that I blatantly stole from Ed U Cater. As my shapeless, pulsating blob of students trudges past each bus, I call out the name of the bus, and then hold out my hand, like I'm asking for money. The kids who ride that bus aren't allowed to go get in line until they have slapped my hand. I am able to count how many times my hand gets slapped at each bus, so I know for sure whether or not the correct number of kids got on that bus.

The kids love this, as they're clamoring over each other, waiting to hear their bus called out. When they hear it, they come charging towards me, ready to give me a high five. Sometimes I hold my hand up over my head (I'm 6'4"), and they jump at it, trying to reach it. Sometimes, if they're getting too far out in front of the pack, I turn around and face the other way before holding out my hand, so that they have to come back to slap it.

Several of the kids that I drop off have brothers or sisters who are already at the buses waiting for them. When they see me coming, they often run over and want to give me five also. I have to really be mindful of my counting at those points, but it makes dropping the kids off highly enjoyable.

Does anybody else have any stories to share about things they really enjoy about their job?


Joel said...

Man, I have the whole week off too! I actually used it to go through the Reader Appreciation interviews I have been doing and got some great stuff. I actually got all of my weekday articles ready to go through the end of the month.

Next week I will summarize everything that I got, which includes:

50 Classroom Management Tips I Have Learned This Month
47 Blog That My Readers Are Reading
Top 5 Character Traits Of Great Teachers
50 Reasons To Love Your Job As A Teacher

It's great what I have seen. I won't spoil it, so I'll just tell you what I love about my job...

Inspiring children. Spreading my passion for music, life, and learning. Watching the students grow year after year. Recruiting kids into my program. Being creative with the music. Transforming students from knowing nothing about how to play an instrument to being able to perform complicated (for them) music by the end of the year. Demonstrating the value of long-range planning to achieve crazy cool results. Guiding students to success, both individually and through group work. Marketing those successes. It’s something like a mix of game show host, stand up comedian, dad, vaudeville juggler, and sports play-by-play commentator.

Mrs. T said...

My kids are required to do "anuncios" as part of their speaking grade in my Spanish classes. They get to talk about whatever they want as long as it's in Spanish. I have learned lots of interesting things about my students that I may not have otherwise.
I also love travelling with my students. It's thrilling to be with them as they experience new places and cultures.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for asking Mr Teacher.

I love showing the kids something cool or beautiful and hearing them them "wooooooo" or "awesoooome".

Or doing a demonstration and then asking, "would you like to do this?'.


or reading a story and having the kids applaud me!

or hearing some kids say they want to be an artist when they grow up.

and learning from some teachers that when they tell the kids they will be going to art this week the kids cheer.

Watching many of the kids do the best they're capable of because it matters to them.

Enabling students to construct something with their hands which was second nature to me as a child, but in their apartment life is rare.

I actually love most of what I do and experience. It is the less than optimal conditions I have to do it in that wear me out.


SciGuy said...

I teach middle school science and IPC (Integrated Physics and Chemistry). I love my subject and try to impart that love to my kids. One day last year one of my students walked in to class and said with a big grin, "Hi Mr. SciGuy, so what are we going to blow up today?!?"

It almost brought a tear to my eye...


I'm thankful for the kids (most of them anyways...)