In case you didn’t catch the news on my Facebook page a few weeks back, I WAS offered professional development work in New York! I’ve decided to continue teaching in Florida for the first half of this school year while my husband and I house hunt and take care of the other 3 million transitional tasks that arise when two people who live 1,000 miles apart decide to get married and start a life together in the same zip code. Yeah, it’s as exhausting (and exhilarating) as it sounds.
School started for students in my district last week, and while those first few days were understandably hellacious and tiring, I’ve already grown quite attached to my class. These are some seriously lovable kids. Take this exchange today.
Me to class: “I’ve noticed that some of you use paper towels to wipe your mouths after getting a drink from the water fountain. The school district pays money for us to have those paper towels, and we use them all day long after washing our hands. I think it would save money and be better for the environment if we used less paper towels.”
Blank stares and slow nods. I decide to elaborate.
Me: “I mean, we’ve got 21 kids in here. If everyone gets a drink four times a day, that’s almost a hundred paper towels a day just for drinks, not even for hand drying. We could easily waste 500 paper towels a week!”
More nods. A hand goes up. This little friend has a deeply earnest expression on his face and a voice full of sincerity.
“Mrs. Watson [oh, how I love hearing my new last name!], I never thought I would be so lucky to have a teacher as smart as you. You are so good at math! How did you DO that just now?!”
Twenty-one heads nod in wide-eyed agreement.
You should have seen the looks on their faces when I explained that by the end of third grade, THEY will be able to solve math problems just like that using the multiplication and estimation skills I’ll be teaching them.
As much as the responsibilities of classroom teaching sometimes drive me nuts…and as anxious as I am to move on to the next stage of my professional career…I will miss moments like the one my class shared today.
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