Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Made a Scrapbook...

It's been over a month since I finished my first year of teaching. I'm going back in less than a month! Crazy. There was about a 2 week period where I didn't think about school at all, but then a few days ago, I got a little creative wave. It doesn't happen often, rarely in fact. My friend Erin always says crafts give her hives, and generally, I'm in the same boat. However, once every 2 or 3 years (Is there a word for that? You know how fortnight is a word for 2 weeks? Let me know if there is a word for several years) I will feel like I want to take some picture and stick them in a book using rubber cement and stickers and cut out construction paper to make it pretty. What I'm trying to say is what the title of this blog has already told you. A few days ago, I made a scrapbook. Mine are not exactly pretty scrapbooks. I'm ok with imperfection, which is good, because it almost looks like a kid made it, but I'm fine with that. So anyway, I made an official "My First Year of Teaching" scrapbook. I won't do one every year (for reasons previously stated), but I wanted a memoir of as many memories and funny stories and pictures that I could think of to remember those 30 kids, the ones that made my year crazy and hectic but also very funny. They don't know it, but they played a giant part in my sanctification process.

During the 7 or so hours that the creative waves were flowing in my mind (when they come, I can't stop them, or they may never show up again), I decided that I needed a "Quotes and Stories" page. After looking back at my blog for funny anecdotes about the year, I found that I actually blogged shockingly little between the Chicken Pox phase and when school ended. Because of that, I decided that once I compiled all the stories into my scrapbook, I would finally blog the ridiculous things that happened this year. So, here is a random smattering of things kids said, and stories that have to have some background info in order to be appreciated.

Quotes and Stories from the year:

While I was reading Prince Caspian to the class, we noticed that a main character said, "Eh?" a lot. One of my students said, "What is he, Canadian?" Then all the kids just laughed like that was the best joke they'd ever heard. I said, "What kind of stuff do you guys know?" These were the same kids who didn't know if Oregon
was a city, state, or country.

"Mr. Gambler's a riot." Wilmer

"Mr. Gambler said you have a present for me?" Wilmer (There was no present.)

"Can I go tell my mom if I can ride the bus?" All my students said this, and I hated it. As a teacher, it was just so hard to know where to begin with how to correct that statement. At least 4 kids per day would form their questions exactly like that, regardless of how often and in what ways I corrected them.

"My hair's looking a hot mess right now." Harold

This is one of my favorite moments: We were watching a really dumb movie (I was on the verge of turning it off, even though I had so many report cards to do and it was basically the last week of school). It was about a Granny who rode down a rapidly flowing river in a rocking chair while moving west along the Oregon Trail
, and she barked orders to her grandson the entire time in a strong southern accent. I was sitting at my desk, and I started to notice that about 3 kids, after every sentence the Granny said, would tag on a "Boy!"(Really country-like. I wish I could record it and put it on the blog. Just use your imagination since I don't know how to do that). It was hilarious. Once I realized what they were doing I laughed so hard at my desk, I almost cried. I was just so proud of their well-developed and time appropriate senses of humor. The creators of Mystery Science Theater would have been proud. I may just send them the name of the movie and ask them to use it in their next episode.

One day, Ms. Moyer stepped in for a moment to relieve me so I could run out for a minute, and when I got back, she said, "Who's that kid?" Turns out my little Wilmer had definitely brought his neighbor to school with him. I sent them to the office to get it straightened out, and it turns out no one had noticed, and he just got on the bus. He was a 6th grader that I guess didn't want to go to his own school that day. It almost worked for him.

Toward the end of school everyone pretty much loses their minds. One of my students, Shane, didn't realize I was in the room as the class came back from lunch. I was sitting at my desk, and he didn't see me. Apparently, when the room is empty, that is the prime time to jump up on a table and start dancing and yelling, "Check me out! Hey guys, look at me!" That was such a great teacher moment. I coughed slightly, and he absolutely froze and turned ever so slowly to look at me. He got down and walked over, and I told him to come sit by me. I turned my head away from him just in time so that he didn't see me laughing. That moment solidified me (in my mind) as a real teacher.

"Ms. Christie, when you turn around to write on the board, Quortez dances around and says, 'Drop it like it's hot.'" Alcious

"I'm glad you called my mom yesterday, and I got grounded." Jake (This one statement has so much baggage with it, it's actually not all that funny.)

"Ms. Christie, have you ever had a valentine relationship?" Malak

"I speak two language. My first language is ghetto." Peyton

I had this conversation with Wilmer on my first day back after the Chicken Pox:

"Ms. Christie, I want to show you something."
"Is this an inside trick or an outside trick?"
"Oh, I can do it inside."
Wilmer proceeds to do a spin around and grab dance much akin to the famous Michael Jackson move. He then runs away before I can say anything and goes to his bus.
The next day -
"Um, Wilmer, you know when you did your little dance yesterday? I know you were probably just trying to be funny, but - "
"Oh, I wasn't trying to be funny. I was dancing."
"Oh... Well, either way, please don't dance that way in the classroom anymore."
"Ok, Ms. Christie."

And finally, one more conversation with Wilmer:
"Did you know my dad's name is Wilmer, too?"
"Oh really? That's great. Are you going to name your kid Wilmer, one day too?"
"How should I know? I can't tell the future."

I love kids. I also love not teaching during the summer. But after writing this blog, and creating my bi-yearly scrapbook (does that mean one every 2 years, or 2 per year?) and only remembering good memories, I just might be ready to go back in 3 weeks. Now let's just hope I don't have 30 kids in my classroom this year. Call your congressman.