so today . . . my school kids made me laugh. they do and say stuff all the time that is funny, but i usually just sort of chuckle to myself and move on. the truth is, if i laugh out loud they never stop! then they start TRYING to be funny, and things just deteriorate from there. but today i laughed, and it was fun. (i admit i was already feeling a little giddy, since my new computer was on the ups truck headed to my house.)
then later in the day i heard a conversation among 4 year olds that didn't include the phrases, "i won't be your friend anymore," or "i'm going to tell the teacher," or "fine! you can't come to my birthday party," or even the ever popular "TEACHERRRR! he won't share!" which really means "i want it and he won't give it to me." instead, they were talking about kids they knew that didn't go to our school anymore. "do you remember adam? he was so funny! one time milk came out of his nose," and "remember mikey? where did he go?" it was just fun to watch their little faces and hear their little voices having a real conversation. they were looking at each other and talking to each other and thinking about what the other person said and then responding. they weren't just reacting to what was happening around them; they were thinking about something--their lost friends--and talking about it. it was cute! they could have been 20 years old, sitting around eating cold pizza, drinking sodas, and talking about the kids they used to know from high school.
it is easy for me to get caught up in being the teacher at school. there is so much to accomplish in one year, so many expectations to be met. and then there is the whole issue of behavior and classroom management. i try to be a good teacher, but today i remembered that being a good teacher is more than just reaching academic goals and having a class of well behaved students. it also means seeing who these children are going to become and enjoying the people that they already are. so i am going to laugh out loud more, and if things escalate from there, oh well . . . a good teacher should be able to handle a classroom full of giggles!