so today . . . was my last day of substituting at summer camp. i say last day, because it is the last day i have agreed to, and i do not plan to set foot over there ever again! but i've learned never to say never, so we will see what the rest of the summer brings. (although, after the last couple of days, i'm pretty sure the rest of the summer brings no more summer camp for me . . .)
in celebration of my last day of subbing, i am going to finally post the story from last friday. i think.
since it was friday, the kids were apparently allowed to bring a toy to school--you know, for "sharing time." really, if you are going to let kids bring a toy from home at least be honest enough to call it what it is--"show and tell." because that is what is going to happen. kids do not bring a toy from home to share it. they bring it to show everyone else what cool stuff they have, and no one else had better even think about touching it. other children are only allowed to look at it longingly. on rare occasions a child will agree to trade their most precious possession for temporary custody of someone else's most precious possession, but even that exchange usually ends badly . . .
i've often wondered why teachers even do this--i find that it brings nothing but problems into my classroom. i know that "sharing time" can be used to develop language and social skills, but it seems that those goals are rarely accomplished, because it takes a chunk of time out of the day to do sharing time right. here's what typically happens instead--kids bring a toy from home, kids play with their toy, kids do not want to share their toy with the other kids--they just want to taunt the other kids with what they've got, whining ensues, tattling runs rampant, teachers have to take the toys away. everyone is unhappy.
there is a good way to incorporate sharing into a learning environment, but i just don't have time to do it--especially on fridays. so in my class, they are not allowed to bring toys from home. not ever. and after we get past one or two fridays of me sending home the toys they insist on bringing, it isn't a big deal anymore. they leave their toys at home, and we have a good day at school.
call me mean if you want to--i can take it. all i know is, i have a lot less problems on fridays than anyone else . . .
but today i was subbing. that means that i wasn't really in charge. i was there to implement someone else's plan and follow someone else's rules. and those rules apparently allow kids to bring a toy to school on fridays. and for school age kids, that means they bring their nintendo ds. but not everyone brought their nintendo ds today. so the result was that the kids who had theirs played the games, while the kids who didn't have theirs watched. because if a nintendo ds is in the room, no one is going to pick up a book or put legos together--at least not on planet earth. on a normal school day this would make me crazy, but hey, it is summer. i was just glad they were quiet and occupied so that i could play on my computer . . .
joshua did not bring his nintendo ds, so he came over to see what i was doing. i tried to load my facebook farm to show him, because i thought he would be interested to see how it had progressed since he was in my class. but the internet connection was giving me grief and wouldn't load the whole farm. while he was standing there, he said, "i have a nintendo ds, but i didn't bring it today." i made non-commital interested sounds, because while i was listening to him, i was really trying to get my farm to load! he continued, "yeah, and i have a wii and a playstation too." (he might have meant playstation 2, i'm not really sure . . . )
"wow," i said, "that is a lot of electronic games."
"what do you have?" he asked.
"i don't have any of those things." i paused and then said, "maybe you should give me one of yours."
"i can't," he said. "i need them all."
"but you can only play one at a time!" i reasoned.
"yes but i need my nintendo ds for when i go places," he said.
"ok, well what about the wii? i don't have one of those."
"no," he replied, "i need the wii for exercise." yes, because who would ever think to go outside and run around!
"then how about the playstation. you don't really need both a wii and a playstation," i reasoned.
"yes i do," he said.
apparently that one needed no explanation.
one of the older girls overheard this conversation and then she said, "you don't have a wii? what do you have?"
"well," i said, "i have a phone that has games--that's kind of like a nintendo. and i have my teeny tiny computer . . . "
she was not impressed. "then what do you do when you get home from school?"
oh, just let me tell you . . . "some days i go to the grocery store and some days i do laundry and sometimes i have vacuuming and dusting and picking up to do and errands to run and i have two dogs who need to be walked and sometimes i do computer stuff or read or listen to my ipod or watch tv."
i think i was sort of expecting her to be impressed by all the things an adult woman has to do--kind of like "enjoy your youth. someday you will be all grown up and have no time to play!"
but all she said was, "oh, you have an ipod . . . "
so i guess i am not hopeless. after all, i have an ipod.
when i finally got to come home, i felt sort of cranky. it had been a long morning of whiny, restless kids.
and then the doorbell rang . . .
rollie had been expecting a package, and as luck would have it, today was the day it arrived. normally this would have made me feel even more cranky--i like the packages that come to the house to be for me. but as it turns out, this one was!
"here," he said, "i got you something to enjoy this summer."
i thought i recognized the box. it was from amazon. it looked suspiciously like the box that came for rollie at christmas. but i have been fooled by boxes before. so before getting too excited, i opened it up.
and there, in all it's electronic glory, was a kindle. for me.
so today i took it to school with me. because i am the teacher-- i can take my toys to school on any day i want to.
and i don't have to share either :)