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February 18, 2015 / sharoncopy

DAY 77 subbing

She worked hard on two pages of addition problems, but repeatedly made one particular error, and therefore had to re-do about 10 problems. As the time for math came to an end, she came back to the table in tears, knowing that she still had three problems to do, and not wanting to miss recess for it. I pulled her to me and hugged her beautiful 6-year-old self and explained that kids who mess around and don’t do their work have to miss part of recess to finish it – but she had just made a mistake, and that’s okay – she will learn how to do it right and can finish it tomorrow. She was still crying. She said, “My mom says that I need to do good in math or else I’ll get an F and then I won’t do good in math in high school and I won’t be able to go to college!”    Wow. Just – wow!  I let her teacher know about it.

I enjoyed a fiesty group of first graders today, although they were altogether too chatty and bouncy – but some classes just are, and some kids that age really cannot just sit and work quietly for hours on end.

Today I read them a book about Ruby Bridges, and looked out into this integrated classroom and explained that “once upon a time” schools were separate but not equal, and “back then” black people were not allowed to eat in some restaurants or drink from the same water fountains and there were restrictions on where they could purchase homes and go to school. The ending was that now we know better and black and white are friends as well as Asians, Mexicans, Indian, and every other kind of person – we are all the same inside and nobody is better than anybody else.

A pipe burst in the adjacent classroom and with the water turned off, we had to dismiss school early. The teacher returned from her Professional Development meeting and I just made myself helpful however I could – stacking chairs, directing and shushing excited kids, and for awhile – entertaining them with “Where Is Thumbkin?” and “Simon Says.” I count it a matter of pride that I look silly when I show them how to do the Twist, the Pony, the Swim, and a simple Line Dance – because it makes them laugh and join in, and certainly keeps their attention. (Last week I even showed the PE class how to do the Freddy). Wow – most of those go back to my Junior High days – which is when I was last in the public school system.

“I’m tellin’ you now….”

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