"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment" -Ralph Waldo Emerson
18 February 2009
They said it would happen. They said I would probably find an assignment while subbing that I would not return to... I thought it might have been PE - but I would do it again even though it was not my favorite thing ever. I had one fourth grade assignment that was more than a little rough - but I would still return to that room and try it again. I had a fine day in the "behavioral room" a traditional "I'm not going back there - you can't make me" assignment for subs. So imagine my surprise to learn that the one thing I will not be doing again after tomorrow (because I have already given my word) is returning to a Pre-K room. I finally found the one thing that will make me exercise my right as a sub to just say no.
"Boys and Girls, this is Happy the Tooth! Do you know why he is happy?" "That's his name" "Yes, that's right - his name is Happy and he IS happy - because he is healthy. How do we keep our teeth healthy?" "Exercise" "Exercise helps keep us healthy, that's true - what else?" "Food" "What kind of food" "Cupcakes" "Boys and girls, raise your hand if you think cupcakes are a healthy choice for our teeth." Half the class raises their little hands and the other half does not. "I think we can choose something better" One student has a quivering lip... "My tooth isn't happy" "It's ok to have a cupcake once in a while if we BRUSH our teeth - but we should try to choose things like apples for snacks to keep our teeth super healthy"
Maybe it is crazy - but spending the day talking about Happy the Tooth and telling 3 and 4 year olds to keep their hands to themselves 6 million times in the space of an hour and trying to figure out how to play with them is not my idea of a day well-spent. Don't misunderstand me - on NO LEVEL am I impugning the efforts of those brave souls who do this on a day to day basis. In fact I admire and respect their ability to reach these little hearts and minds - but I am not able to fill their shoes even a little bit and maintain any kind of sanity.
A little while later - believe it or not - we had one student lose her first tooth ever. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle - out comes the tooth. Hurray! Little Suzie lost her tooth... Little Mary sees blood and starts screaming because Suzie is bleeding. OMG. Someone please - shoot me. It is a quicker death...
I seriously don't know how anyone can do that day after day after day....
So I am crying "Uncle". Tomorrow will be my last day in Pre-K. Ever.
(A special thank you to TaiChiInstructorFriend who was able to put up with my crabipotimus attitude last evening and restore my good humor... )