As a teacher, you occasionally have days where you wonder why you’re in this profession. Your lesson plans bomb, the internet goes down (or worse, the AC), you get in a fight with the copier, a kid sneezes on your lunch, you finally get rid of all the kids at 3:30 and realize you never went pee during your one break at 10am. Today was not one of those days. I had the opposite. I had the greatest day.
I had my flatulent little princess first thing this morning. She was sitting in my lap and we were playing sentence-building games when she ripped a glorious one that vibrated my legs. I’m serious. My thighs jiggled. As she turned around to smile her sheepish gap-tooth smile at me, the smell hit and I threw her off of me. It was the foulest thing that had ever happened. It soaked into my dress – I couldn’t escape it. And farts are hilarious, especially when coming from a really tiny child. You know when you’re so grossed out that you can’t help but laugh hysterically? She’d look sideways at me and then the smell of something dead inside would waft over. It’s hard to laugh and gag at the same time, but I did. She kept insisting she didn’t have to use the restroom and I started chewing heavily flavored mint gum and somehow we made it through.
I led worship in Spanish this week for Chapel. I teach at a Christian school, so every Wednesday we go sit in our beautiful church and sing songs, pray, and have a message. Afterwards, some sixth graders came up to me all excited.
We play guitar, Miss (Brazilian kids rarely use your last name for some reason unless I start calling them all “student” and then they remember my last name), and can we lead a song for Chapel one time?
I was so excited, thinking I had somehow inspired these kids to be leaders and they were going to sing some beautiful song and souls would be saved and I’m amazing. More sheep to the fold. I told them to think of a song and tell me tomorrow and we could practice.
They come find me at lunch, all excited.
Students: “We have a song. We want to play ‘Wonderwall.'”
Me: “. . . . . um. ‘Wonderwall?'”
Students: “Yes. Is good song.”
(Long pause while I look to the sky for help.) Me: “You cannot play Wonderwall at Chapel.”
Students, super confused: “But why?”
Me: “Because this is Chapel, not a talent show. Wonderwall has nothing to do with Jesus.”
One kid punched the other kid – “I told you so.”
Me: “I’m gonna need you to regroup, pick a song about Jesus, and get back to me.”
But by far, the greatest moment of the day – easily in the top five of my teaching career, came with my third graders. We’re working on “to be” vs “to have” and making a slideshow about favorite animals with brief descriptions. So one kid says his fav animal is a “lee-gray.” A what? “a lee-gray.” He types it into the translator as “ligre” and I go “ohhhhhhh a liger! Those aren’t real.” I figure he must have seen “Napoleon Dynamite” and is trying to pull a fast one on me. But he insists they’re real. (Are they? I don’t science.)
So I try to reason with him, and being the clever teacher I am, decide to make it a mini geography lesson. “Okay but lions live where?” “AFRICA,” they all say. “And tigers live where?” “ASIA AND INDIA.” “Okay. Go find those on the map.”
So the three of them walk dutifully over to the map. They are able to locate Africa (the fact that one is Angolan probably helped). But when asked to find India, they were lost. A Brazilian, Swede, and Angolan could not locate India.
“Guys – India is orange and big and in Asia.”
“This one?” They were pointing at Canada.
With a heavy sigh, I walk over to the HUGE MAP where every country is clearly labeled in capital letters, and start pointing out the distance between Africa and India and the very zero probability of lions and tigers meeting.
Meanwhile, kid takes it upon himself to google images of “liger.”
“Look!” he says. “I find.”
I swear to you that I have Safe Search on my computer, but he turns the laptop around to reveal his photo, and this was splashed across my screen:
I screamed and ran over, smashing my computer down so hard I thought I might break it, but he was still narrating “and the lion and the tiger gets married and (makes kissing noises and kissing motions with his hands) and dis is how you make the lee-gray. is so beautiful.”
It was one of those moments where you’re just like…this job is unreal. Kids are unreal. I am so lucky I get to watch this stuff happen. I can’t wait to tell people.
And here is the last thing that popped up in my teacher account gchat today. This student is absent a lot, but always gchats in a report, and it’s worth reading:
HI MS WEIGHT
I IN MY HOUSE AND NOW I FINSH MY HOMOWORK AND NOW I IN MY GMAIL SO BY I SEE YOU TOMOROW IN THE SCHOOL☺
yup. All the homowork is done.
I don’t know what exactly it says about me that these things are what keep me motivated. But whatever works, ay? I’m still unsure if ligers are real animals…I’m afraid to google further. They could be totally fake but I would believe in them. I still won’t go completely underwater in the ocean after watching about Megalodon shark from the Shark Week hoax, so . . .
goodnight. hearts and stars and mason jars.