Although I have a strong preference for high school, I have to take what I can get, so I taught elementary school kids again thrice this week. They're very cute when they aren't hellspawn. On Tuesday I had a class of second graders for half a day. These second graders were much better behaved than the third graders from the week before, but oh my goodness they were a handful. They had so much energy and so many questions. I felt overwhelmed by the end and don't think I could have lasted a whole day, but I didn't feel frustrated with them or take the Lord's name in vain under my breath even once, so that was a win. The kids were also quick to tell me what I was supposed to be doing if I ever got confused. The wildest kid, whom the teacher warned me about, was also one of the most helpful. I think he just needs constructive outlets for his energy. Also when the kids were writing stuff about themselves, he made me happy and sad at the same time.
Him: How do you spell lore?
Him: Yeah, lore, like the kind of person my mom has to give a lot of money to because she's in a divorce.
Him: How do you spell anxiety?
Me: *tells him*
Him: *writes "Anxiety" on his paper under "I am special because"*
On Wedneday I didn't know what I was doing because the listing just said "Resource." I'd had two assignments with the word "Resource" in them - Resource Center where I ran the library, and Resource Intervention Specialist where I sat in the classroom and did literally nothing. I assumed this would be one of those two things but then I showed up and they told me I was teaching Special Ed. Crap, I thought, I'm not even remotely qualified for this. But it was super easy. First I tutored an adorable second grader in reading and writing. I couldn't tell why she was in Special Ed because she blazed through the lessons with few errors. Her only consistent issue was using e's instead of i's when she wrote down the words that I spoke, but since literally every vowel in English makes the same sound at some point, that seemed perfectly understandable. Then I went and sat next to another adorable second grader who needed occasional nudges to stay focused in class and assistance if she had a seizure. She didn't have a seizure so it was an uneventful hour and a half. At least as far as this age group goes, I much prefer the one-on-one stuff to managing entire classes and wouldn't mind doing it full-time.
On Thursday I had high school students and all I had to do was administer a test and show a couple of videos. After some difficulty with the teacher's weird computer layout, it was a snap. Here are the videos in case anyone else wants to become educated.
On Friday I had two fifth grade classes, one for each half of the day. It was a Portuguese immersion classroom but I didn't have to worry about that. During recess and lunch I read Dav Pilkey's Dog-Man in Portuguese, or rather skimmed over the words without really pronouncing them in my mind and got the basic idea because of their similarities to Spanish words. Partway through the day, all the fifth grade classes met in the common area for an assembly where several kids gave their campaign speeches for student council. The first kid had it in the bag. He looked like a future movie star, and he tossed away his notes and just spoke with such confidence and conviction that I'd pick him for US president in a heartbeat. Actually, I would have picked any of the kids for US president in a heartbeat. He'll win and a few others will win and the rest will learn an important lesson about life's many disappointments.
The kids behaved very well. The second class was a little rowdier, but nobody disrespected me, and I wasn't going to report anyone to their teacher to have points taken away, but one kid helpfully gave me a post-it note with the names of the bad kids in descending order of badness. The one at the top of the list was... interesting. She came in during recess - they all had to stay inside during recess because the air quality was so bad, probably as a side effect of the temperature dropping twenty degrees in two days - and wrote on the board, "Cats are the best. I don't care what you think. That is all." And when I actually had her class, she wrote it again, and then she wrote "Cats = awesome" and then she just wrote "Cat" a dozen times. And she asked me probing questions about my personal life. And she asked me like five times, "Am I being bad?" And she asked, "Am I being bad, or just obnoxious?" And she asked, "On a scale of one to ten, how bad am I?" I found her very amusing and I hope some stupid adult never crushes her spirit. Also, in the morning class a student was kind of rude to me but I let it go and then later she apologized on her own initiative and it was adorable. I want to teach these classes again, but I suppose I'd have to learn Portuguese.
Contextual world news for future readers: Today is the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, Queen Elizabeth recently died, and Ukraine is kicking Putin's жопа even harder than usual as it takes back its territory in an incredible counteroffensive. Also, monkeypox is probably still a thing that I should be more worried about than I am.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.