The State of Washington was kind enough to give me a life time substituting certificate. This is not the first time I have taken that certificate and inflicted my long-ago acquired teaching skills on some children.
I have never done more than visit a Kindergarten class. I figured this time of year would be fine. New kids, just learning the ropes. 5 years old. I could handle them.
I pretty much did. 23 kids. In various stages of uniform dress. They looked at me suspiciously and I eyed them. Some smiled, some retreated in terror and some just looked me in the eye to let me know I was just a visitor.
The hardest part of a day was not when there was no recess (rain) and the new computers crashed but bathroom time. They are marched to the bathroom no less then 4 times a day. It was not until the 4th trip that anyone mentioned not everyone had to "go" but everyone had to wash their hands, with soap. Bathroom time, is play time inside of a room that echos....
The class came equipped with lots of projects and an aide.
I think I scared one child for life and I helped darling child. While reading Madeline, (a 'line' re-enforcing book) I tried to explain about the appendix and how it was removed. Clearly I should have followed the script. Silly me asked if the children knew what it was. Everyone raised their hand to say "No". Trying to keep it simple I told them it was a small thing in their body that sometimes became infected and had to be taken out. I mentioned it was about the size of a thumb and they cut it off. One boy later asked, with great concern "what happens after they cut your thumb off?" We moved on.....
Then there was sweet little girl. When asked to draw the faces of the people in their "immediate" family, the aide defined it as only the people that lived in their houses. Several children were told "only the people in your home overnight" She turned to me and explained in an earnest way. "My daddy does not live with us because he was never married to my mommy. I have three brother and they have really short curly hair so this is how I drew them. My mommy has lots more braided hair then I do, so I made it very long. I don't think she has red lips. My brothers don't have red lips. How do people get red lips? I want my daddy to be in my family so I drew him, is that okay?" I assured her it was just fine, and of course he was part of her family and then I put on lipstick and told her that was how people made their lip's red. She will not need the same amount of therapy as the little boy who is worried about the safty of his thumbs.
A day with healthy, young, engaged kids is good for every one's soul. Of course I came home ready to be a Kindergarten teacher but I will have to do that in my next life.
Back to my real life. Liver function down, Kidney function creeping back up, Face with bad spots of GVH, an appointment with a kidney doctor on Thursday.
It is fun to visit other worlds.