One of the ways I've found to occupy my time is working as a substitute teacher. With cold and flu season upon us, I find I'm nearly working full time and in addition to adding a bit of change to the checking account I'm learning all kinds of new and exciting things most of which pertain to the unlimited ability children have to inspire, challenge and amuse me.
The other day I was working in a first- grade classroom. The teacher had left instructions for me, which is always nice. There's nothing quite as exciting as standing in front of a class with the lesson plan reading simply "11:00-12:30 teach math and assign homework." Um, what kind of math? Calculus? Geometry? 1+2=3?
Anyway, this particular day the teacher had thoughtfully left very clear directions. The students were to make a poster. They were to draw their favorite animal, write a sentence about it, color the whole thing and hang it in the hallway for all to admire.
One earnest little boy, Jared, kept raising his hand and waving it frantically, signally some dire emergency such as a need for a color consultation. "What color is a lion's ruffly fur around his neck?" and "Is it okay if I use purple for the eyes?" After discussing the relative merits of his small assortment of Crayolas we turned our attention to his sentence. He asked how to spell each word. "Teacher? How do you spell 'really'?" Followed by, "Teacher? How do you spell 'love'?" He then asked for the spelling of one more word--lions.
I turned my attention to the other students, hoping I really did know how to spell 'orangutan' correctly and offering tech support when one little girl tried to sharpen her crayon in the electric pencil sharpener.
Finally I collected the posters. Jared was wiggling with excitement as he brought his poster to me. "Look, Teacher! I got it all finished! My parents are gonna LOVE it!"
I'm sure they will. I only wish I could be there to see their faces when they view their son's poster featuring a large lion centered over even larger block letters in black crayon proclaiming:
I REALLY LOVE LOINS!!!
If my kid made a poster like that it would TOTALLY go in the Things- I'm- Collecting -To- Use -Against- Him- Later- in- Life- box.