Have you met anyone more honest than children? In all my years as a teacher I’ve laughed, almost cried and been genuinely shocked by what comes out of their mouths. Their perceptions of life and others can be quite amusing.
Teachers spend most of their days modeling behaviors for their students. As for me I find modeling is an effective tool to teach and I use it to mold appropriate behaviors so my students can become successful, productive learners. But sometimes the results can be downright comical. These accounts, although it’s hard to believe, are real and really happened.I kid you not!
Walking down the hall with a group of third graders can be challenging. They weave in and out, bump into each other, and sometimes literally fall onto the floor. One morning I decided that my third graders needed a modeling technique rather than a verbal command to walk down the hall in a straight line. Quickly I observed my unkempt line and said, “Hey kids, watch me walk down the hall and follow my lead.” Now, of course I wasn’t thinking about what could happen; I was thinking about my students following me in a straight line, hands to their sides, moving perfectly toward our classroom. As I began to move down the hallway, my class following close behind, I glanced back and observed one boy, limping terribly, weaving in and out of line. I was concerned that he had tripped and turned his ankle. I stopped walking, turned around and said, “Johnny, why are you limping so badly? Did you turn your ankle?” Without missing a beat, little Johnny looked at me and said, very seriously, “Mrs. Fox, you told us to walk like you so that’s what I was doing.”
I work with many kids who have unique and varied challenges. I work with one little girl who has weak hand muscles. I am really focused on improving her muscle strength. I creatively implement such activities as using chopsticks to create letters in clay. I purposely encourage her to attempt to open heavy doors, open packages and any other activities that would encourage her to strengthen her hand muscles. One day she was extremely tired and did not want to do her exercises. As I was walking her back to class, she asked me to carry her lunchbox. I looked at her, held out my “bad” hand in front of her and said, “Do you want your hand to look like mine? This is what happens when you don’t carry your own lunchbox.”
She looked at my hand, looked up at me and exclaimed, “Gimme that lunchbox.”
While teaching a group of third graders their vocabulary words, I decided to use actions and drama to help them remember word definitions. As I came across the word “amble”, I purposely walked across the classroom at a slow pace, looked back at my students and said,” Now can you tell me what the word “amble” means? Several students yelled excitedly and confidently, “Limp, amble means limp.”
So here we go again. My classroom used to be housed in a mobile unit right out the main building. I would escort my first graders in and out of the main building. One little boy, who when
upset, had the potential to run. Since I was concerned about afternoon school traffic, I asked him to hold my hand. He quickly grabbed my “bad” hand leading me toward the main entrance. After we enter the building, he looks up and very seriously says, “You really need to see a doctor!” Oh, the joys of a teacher with cerebral palsy. Until next time…