Monday, June 14, 2010

a baseball cap

so today . . . is the first day of my last week of school for this year.

i cannot even tell you how ready i am for summer vacation! because our school also provides daycare services, it is open all year. i am the only teacher on staff who gets the summers off--yes, i am special. the other day the kids were questioning me as to why i don't work in the summer. i told them it is so i don't get grouchy. i said if i had to work through the summer, i might be mean teacher ms. julie all the time instead of just once in a while. they smiled and said, "nuh uh!"

but it is true.

i honestly don't know how all the other teachers do it! i don't know how they come to school day after day after day and deal with a whole classroom full of other people's children with only a two week vacation! i need a beginning and an end to my school year, and a weekend is not enough! i get cranky just thinking about it!!

so in celebration of my upcoming summer vacation, i thought it would be fun to post funny kid stories all week. the only problem is, i don't have a funny kid story for today! we spent most of today in dress rehearsal for our graduation program. you know how i feel about preschool and kindergarten graduation, and yet still i am forced to participate every year. so the day of dress rehearsal is one of my least favorite days--let's just say i have the expression of a teen-aged girl most of the day. seriously, my eyes get tired of rolling . . .

but, lucky for you, i still have a few blogs from my days on myspace that i haven't shared yet. this one is from last year. it was originally posted on monday, december 15, 2008.

i am sharing a classroom with another teacher this year, which has it's challenges. one of those is that i can hear her when she is teaching (i'm sure she can hear me too.) sometimes the things i hear from the other side of the divider make me laugh out loud!

a few days ago she was teaching a lesson to her four year olds, and part of it required the children to identify some pictures. there was a picture of a baseball cap, but try as she might, she could not get anyone to say the word "cap." they just kept saying "hat," even though she had repeatedly said, "well, it is a hat, but it is a special kind of hat and has it's own name." most of our children speak a different language at home, so it is completely possible that they have never heard the word cap. finally, in desperation, she said, (in a somewhat commanding voice) "this is called a what!?!?" hoping they would say "a cap." one little girl, looking puzzled, said, "i didn't know that was called a what!!!"

dealing with language issues is one of the things i find both frustrating and fascinating about my current job. most of the children in my classroom speak mandarin chinese, tagalog, korean, vietnamese, or spanish at home. it always sort of jolts me when they speak to me in english and their parents in another language at the same time! i am stunned at their ability to process and think in two different languages at once. i occasionally have to correct their vocabulary or grammar, but they have amazing skills for bilingual five year olds!

one day i was talking to a parent, and he gave me some valuable information. he said that in mandarin, they do not have words for she or her--it is always he or his regardless of whether they are referring to a girl or a boy. this explains a lot to me. now instead of just correcting their vocabulary, i teach them the words she and her and when to use them. there are also no chinese words for turning something on or off--they say open or closed. so they don't turn the lights on, they open them. they don't turn the lights off, they close them. i no longer find it odd to hear someone say, "open the lights!" and yet, i have to be aware of it so i can teach them on and off.

but for this year, i am pretty much done teaching. we have graduation tomorrow night, our end of the year field trip on wednesday, and classroom clean-up for summer on thursday and friday. it is going to be a busy week. so now, i am going to "close" my brain and go to bed, because it isn't summer vacation yet. and i need to keep mean teacher ms. julie at bay for four more days . . .

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