Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"You the Lady Who's Learnin' My Kid?"

Well, tonight was Curriculum Night at the old elementary school. The old lady and I went to hear all about how Miss O is doing in kindergarten and how Mr. Z is doing in fourth grade. No earthshattering news going on over there, but it was nice to meet the teachers. I'm telling you, we got so fucking lucky with this school district -- amazing teachers, very progressive, way-diverse student body. It fucking sucks that most schools in this country blow so hard. And Mr. Z's teacher was talking about how hamstrung she is by that goddamn No Child Left Behind bullshit. She seems to take it in stride, though, and pretty much still does things her own way. She's been teaching for 37 years -- I can't fucking imagine. Hanging with fourth graders for 37 years -- she's either insane or... no, she's insane. But she seems like a great teacher, so there you go.

Miss O's teacher is very nice -- classic kindergarten type. Very enthusiastic, and creative. She told us Miss O is "so sweet," and we told her she must not know which kid is Miss O, 'cuz she's a lot of things and sweet ain't anywhere on the fucking list. Her aftercare teacher, however, told it a little more straight. She said, "She's quite bossy... but... in a good way." Nice qualifier there, lady. You don't have to sugarcoat it with us -- if she were any more bossy, she'd... well, she couldn't be any more bossy. But she is cute as shit, so who fucking cares.

My favorite part of the evening was when Miss O's aftercare teacher showed us this poster that she made. All the kids had done a poster with the phrase "When I grow up I want to be..." on top. The teacher told us that Miss O was having a hard time with it and wouldn't complete it for a long time. That's the deal with Miss O -- she doesn't take shit like that lightly. She was probably grappling with the weight of the question she was being asked to answer. How the fuck does she know what she wants to be when she grows up -- she's fucking four and a half, for fuck's shit. So, the teacher said she was just going to give Miss O a pass on the project and not pressure her into deciding, but at the last second, Miss O grabbed the poster and started manically drawing. She ended up with "When I grow up, I want to be an ice cream truck driver." And it had this hilarious picture of her riding in an ice cream truck, smiling her ass off. It was incredible. I'll scan it in when she brings it home -- it's definitely t-shirt transfer material. The teacher also mentioned that Miss O qualified it by saying that she would only drive the truck on our street and would only sell ice cream to people she knew, which, I think, is illegal but I'll cut her some slack.

To Miss O, driving an ice cream truck is the perfect job. She gets to drive around and eat ice cream. Fucking brilliant. And with Miss O behind the wheel, it's just not as creepy as the John Wayne Gacy-esque ice cream dude at the park with the faded clown painted on the side of the truck and "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" blaring out of the back.

She is bossy, though.


Jello Mom said...

You mean Miss O has the "qualities" of a leader; or a director!!!! Why usr the word bossy????

erin said...

"Hanging with fourth graders for 37 years -- she's either insane or... no, she's insane. But she seems like a great teacher, so there you go."

Yeah, now that I'm back into teaching again (even if it is at the uni level, and not a bunch of 9 year olds) I have to admit, all the great teachers are at least partially insane. I've realized that you have to put on a real production if you want to keep their interest up. I'm teaching 1st year Spanish which is a lot of grammar and a lot of vocab, so it can get pretty dry if you don't put in a HUGE effort to make it fun for them... and for me too. I want to fall asleep 1/2 way through a grammar lesson and I'm the one teaching it!

The other day I taught them "ser" (to be) and how to use it with permanent personality traits... and there was an exercise in the book that listed different people and a trait and the class had to say "si" or "no" depending on if they agreed. Well, one of them was "mis profesores son comicos"... and as I was reading it outloud I started laughing... and I looked out at them and they weren't saying anything but kind of half smiling to each other, so I said "Come on... somos comicos?" And of course, they said "SI!!". Yep... a little case of temporary insanity in the classroom always hooks 'em.

crabbydad said...

You're right, Jello. She is a born leader, for sure. And we definitely encourage that in her. But you know what, sometimes she's just plain bossy, which is fine -- she's four. Besides, "bossy" is a funny word, like "gumption" or "ointment."

Erin, props to you for teaching Spanish to college students. I was almost a Spanish major in college (Porque? No se!) and I could smell the frustration emanating from the profs every day. I finally dropped Spanish when I was supposed to read "Cien Anos de Soledad" and write a giant paper on it. That's when I decided to run to the Psych building and play with rat brains. Pero, yo soy muy seguro que tu clase es muy comico.