26 April 2006

Lemme Tell You About My Day...

Any kindergarten teacher in the world know's one has to be ready for curveballs. They also know said curveballs make for some pretty good stories. Curveball of the week: we suddenly learn Monday morning that each class had been given over to wholly inept college students who've invaded the kindergarten en masse in order to participate in some type of field experience.

It's enough to effectively de-rail a class when the homeroom teacher doesn't accompany her flock, and this happens often enough. Bedlam reaches new heights when four greenhorns amble in, hugged and tugged by the little ones. At this point, I become the only one even remotely in control of these children, and I don't even speak their native language.

Monday through Wednesday I slogged through business as usual. After each class I was ready, to use one of Anna Horkey's favorite lines, to set my hair on fire. Thursday I made ready for the visitors to earn their keep. With no preparation save the little English understood from me, they would teach my class.

As I made preparations Thursday morning, a two consequential events occured. First, I used the last kleenex in the room to help convey a used and crumpled kleenex from the floor to the trashcan. Simultaneously, bending to pick up the wad, I split the posterior seam in my pants. Three seconds later, twenty five students gushed into my classroom, bombing around the knee-high furninture and screeching like banshees. With a little quick thinking, I introduced my students to the ever-popular scoot-around-on-your-bottom game and successfully tricked them into getting into their places! I began class, split them into groups and set them loose on the field experiencers, who dared not refuse. It was working! Now just to keep from showing anyone my backside.

But wait, what's this? Presently I noticed some of the students holding their noses and a brown smudge on the floor. Crap. I took a quick poll of the five or six tykes standing round; none of them had to go to the bathroom (anymore), so I relocated their group and walked toward the kleenex box. The empty kleenex box. There was no chance I'd make a run to another classroom, only to leave moonstruck everyone in my wake. Distracted with the logistics of this substance's arrival on my floor, I resorted to paper, which I crumpled several times to make it more cloth-like, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

The show went on. That class eventually ended, and in the moments before the next class came in, I took the stapler to the ripped seam. Naturally, it was out of staples.