Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ten Fun Facts About Teaching

Everything green and growing Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Korean Word: 연필(pencil)
Spanish Word: lápiz (pencil)

I was sitting in the third grade classroom I volunteer in/will student teach in and I began thinking about some elements of classroom culture that not only seem to consistent in this classroom but seem universal, whether because I've observed them elsewhere or because I remember them from my own school days.

Five Things You Can Expect from Third Graders

1. When the teacher says, "You have ten seconds to put away your *insert item(s) here* and sit down at your desk!" and begins a countdown from ten, she will have to add at least three minutes to her countdown via creative fractions such as "three and two thirds, three and three eights, three and one sixteenth" in order to ensure that everyone makes it back to their seats by zero
2. If once you start down the "what-ifs" path, forever will it dominate your emergency evacuation drill Q&A (which was only meant to take ten minutes but has gone on so long that there's no time for math anymore because the drill has officially started)
3. No matter how many sharpened pencils the students each have in their chair pockets or in the pencil holder on their table, every time the teacher introduces a new subject, half the class will need the pencil sharpener
4. Despite the fact that you both know she went five minutes ago, Allie will insist she has to go to the bathroom "real bad!" and will do a special dance to prove it. Expect to see her and the dance again five minutes after she gets back.
5. No matter how strict the teacher has had to be during the last two weeks and no matter how many minutes of recess have been lost as a result, every single student will beg her not to leave them to get married (even if she promises she will be back by Tuesday)

Today I was reminded of why I want to be a teacher. I owe a huge thank you to my cooperating teacher and my wonderful students!

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