Something funny happens all the time in the first grade classroom.
My kids are smart, adorable and funny.
Here's why ...
Daily, as life in the first grade unfolds before them, I am enlightened and amused to see how hard they try to figure out all of the new information, people, places, and other things presented to them.
They are so motivated and determined. They want to make sense of it all. And to TRULY understand.
Learning to converse plays an important part of the first grade language class. And whenever it’s appropriate, we laugh.
In fact, we laugh often … I want to be sure to develop their sense of humor. That’s SO important!
But here’s the thing …
My students have no clue how refreshing and humorous they are. So ...
Sometimes, a student will say something funny and want me to respond. And if I don’t - I’m sure they want to know why.
I have a good reason.
Whenever they are TRYING to be funny, they are simply acting silly. And that doesn't work in the classroom.
It's whenever they are being serious, I try to keep from laughing. It's because they are so doggone cute.
I’ve learned that no response is better than laughing and hurting their feelings ... Something I would never do on purpose.
Here’s a case in point …
Today, I asked how many of them had gone to the Christmas Parade last night – an annual event in our small hometown.
The majority raised their hands.
“Did you see anything interesting?” I asked, trying to get them involved in a good conversation.
I got nothing.
“There were SO MANY beautiful floats and things to see,” I said, trying again. “Who will tell us about something new and amazing you saw.”
I could tell they were thinking about it.
At last, Martin volunteered. “I went, and you ain't gonna believe what I seen!” His eyes were stretched as wide open as his mouth.
Good, I thought, now, we can get this conversation started.
“Yeah, I seen something funny," he said, flabbergasted. "It was ah-mazing! I seen a horse POOing - RIGHT THAR - on the MAIN, UP-TO-TOWN ROAD!"
Something funny happened today at the end of a different lesson ...
I summed it up like this ...
“So, don’t ever talk to strangers.”
“I DON’T talk to strangers,” Stevie bellowed. “NO WAY!”
As an afterthought, he wrinkled his brow and mumbled, “Anyway, they don’t ever recognize me.”
In the cafeteria, Ms. Purlyn came over to the table where my class and I were seated.
I had heard she was getting a new student, so I asked her if the child standing near her was the new one.
Before Ms. Purlyn could say a word, Martin – who was seated next to me – interrupted.
“Yeah,” he said, craning his neck around to look the new girl up and down, “I think she IS new.”
He chomped down on a bite of his burger. Smacking his lips - that were glazed in honey mustard - he finally glanced over at Ms. Purlyn and me.
In the hope of his remembering what I’ve had to tell him repeatedly in the past, I didn’t say a word.
This time I gave him a solemn, poker-face look.
A teacher is always teaching …
I hoped to remind him AGAIN that anytime someone is speaking to someone else, do NOT interrupt.
I think he remembered because I saw when it hit him …
He stopped chewing. His head sank into his chest. His whole body seemed to shrivel up before my very eyes. Bless his heart! He looked as if he wanted to disappear.
At last, he looked up at me, blinking his big blue innocent eyes.
“Anyway,” he muttered, “she LOOKS LIKE a different person.”
* * *
Sometimes, it's hard being a teacher ... like teaching them appropriate manners or things that no one else has ever made them do - like stop interrupting. Yes, it would be so easy to spoil them! I could easily give into their cuteness, but what kind of teacher would I be?!