Call Me Stoopid

I love my job. Really. I do!

After staying at home for 15 years with my own kids, I finally go back to work and what do I do? Work with kids every day. (But, hey, at the end my day, these kids don’t come home with me!)

Although, I get to spend every day with the same 30 plus kids at our small, private school, no day is just like the day before.

Recently, I read the books, “Learn Me Good” and “Learn Me Gooder” by John Pearson. He chronicles his experiences as a third/fourth grade teacher. His humorous stories are comic relief to me and he so obviously loves his job as well. Now that I’ve worked as an elementary substitute and teacher’s aide, I could probably write a similar book.

In a given day, I hear some of the funniest things ever. Like the other day when a kindergarten girl said her mom was going to “toast her” for getting a mark on her new white tights. Or the time that a boy came back to school after being sick. When I inquired how he was feeling, he told me that he had thrown up on his parents’ bed and that it looked like fire coming out of the mouth of a fire-breathing dragon!

Being a substitute has reminded me that the old adage is still true: “When the cat’s away, the mice will play!” It never ceases to amaze me what kids will try to pull over on a sub. Do they think I am stupid? Do they think I don’t know the basic rules of order in a classroom? 🙂

The best part, though, is being reminded that kids everywhere are basically the same.

  • They all need love and attention- and will seek it any way they believe that will happen.
  • They all want to be accepted by their peers- and will act in a variety of ways to find that acceptance.
  • They like praise for a job well done. They don’t like to experience scorn from adults.
  • They will push the limits and boundaries when they think no one is looking.
  • They have a certain “pecking order” that flows from some intuitive response to each others personalities/bents.
  • They like to be challenged, but need to express themselves with individual creativity as well.

The list could be endless, but I must say, working with kids has had a great impact on my OWN child rearing and changed my perspective in some big ways. I have learned more in the classroom and playground than from most parenting books I ever read.

Yes, there are days when I think the planets have aligned improperly or something because the kids push every one of my buttons. They nag and are unkind to the other students. They grumble and gripe about every assignment. They forget every rule.

But I wouldn’t trade these moments for sitting behind a well-polished desk, any day. Building a rapport with these kids and seeing them mature, grow and learn is the best job I could ask for outside of being a mother.