The Comeback Kid

My jaw almost kit the ground today when one of the children in my class took everyone by surprise.

To remind you – I teach – I teach 3 and 4 year olds, and that pretty much guarantees that there will be shocks and surprises – on an almost weekly basis.

Today a little angel of mine was feeling sick (Eng. = poorly; Aus. = crank).

I’m so international.

The mum (of sick child) arrived and came into the classroom. I explained how her daughter had not been feeling 100% and that with her soaring temperature, it was best to have a nice restful afternoon at home. Being a teacher who encourages the children in my class to express themselves and be confident individuals I was not surprised when another of my little treasures started chatting to the mum.

She asked the mum why her little friend was going home – to which the mum replied, “Well she’s not feeling very well, so I am going to take her home”.

This clearly wasn’t enough info – more please – “Why isn’t she well?” (the girl asked)

The mum smiled back and explained that her daughter had been feeling sick during the morning….

The girl looked at the mum – thought a bit and said – “Perhaps you should have thought about that before you brought her to school today”.

It was said in a flash of brilliance – but with such innocence….. I almost choked.

Kids.

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Frantic Origami

We recently had International Days at my school. It is a time to celebrate our school’s multi-cultural make-up.

The children come to school dressed in a traditional costume or clothes to represent where they come from or where they have lived. We have a big parade where all the children walk through school in front of each other and all the parents. It’s a great sight!

Loads of the parents volunteer to come in and run a stand representing their countries. There’s food to eat, games to play, puzzles to work out and things to make! I love it.

This year I had some volunteers to come in and work with my class.  My class are 3 years old. We did lots of different activities – making flags, sharing stories, craft fun, dancing and lots more…

Next, we were going to try…. origami.

Yes, origami with 3 year olds.

I was a little stunned to begin with – but the children loved it.

I am not sure whether they loved the activity more or the fact that their teacher (me) and teaching assistant were frantically rushing around our little circle (with 13 children) helping to fold paper left, right and centre.

It was simple origami. By that I mean – extremely tricky rather complicated. I giggled as I worked.

I think I’m an origami pro now!

I’m glad it’s the weekend – I need the rest!

Not a child from my class - I just love the expression! Boats next time, maybe?

A very well travelled bear.

Wesley Bear

This is Wesley Bear. He is possibly one of the most well travelled bears in the world. For the last 11 years he has been part of my class. When I started training to be a teacher I bought adopted Wesley (He was already named).

Helping in the kitchen

When I got my first class (4 year olds) – We called it ‘Reception class’ then – I introduced Wesley Bear to the class bear. Each and every weekend he would (and still does) go home with one of the children. (A great reward for good behaviour).

Wesley goes sailing (One of the mums made a lifejacket for him)

The children in the class, and in all the classes that I have taught, have fallen in love with Wesley Bear. They cannot wait to have their turn to look after him.

He’s been taken on some wonderful trips around the world. There are times that I wish I could swap places with my teddy so that I could travel in his place. (I wish). The idea is for the children to look after him and to show him wonderful sights around the world. They take photographs, send postcards back to the school and add a little stamp to his passport. He’s been on more that 100 trips abroad!

Wesley in San Marino

After 11 years of travelling around the world with the children in my classes, with family and friends and with colleagues, I have quite a collection of photos. The children love to look at them and it provides a wonderful tool for exploring holidays and travel in class.

Just a couple of Wesley's holiday snaps!

He’s met dolphins in Israel, camels in the Canary Islands, lizards and seals in the Galapagus Islands and enjoyed Champagne in France! Oh what a life for a bear!

This shows where Wesley Bear has been taken since March 6th 2000.

This beats my map of world travel.

One of the best parts is listening to the children when they bring Wesley Bear back to school. They are alive with enthusiasm and are eager to tell stories of what he’s been up to. Some of the children tell me that Wesley has been naughty, he’s made their bedrooms a mess or that he’s had a holiday romance. Oh yes, I’ve heard a lot.

My favourite picture.

Looking at the world through the eyes of a child. A collection of photos taken by three-year olds.

I find it so refreshing to look at photopgraphs taken by young children. Their perspective of the world is so different to our own. As a teacher I often forget quite how small the children are that I work with every day.

The photographs below were all taken by the children in my class (all aged three-years). We were searching for yellow objects inside the classroom and outside too.

The photos are not perfect, but that is part of their charm. Enjoy.

STAY and watch or LEAVE the room? The dilemma I face.

This is not my cleaner. She looks happy enough doing her job. (Please note: If I could have found a good enough picture of a male vacuuming then I would have chosen it).

I have a cleaner. No, I’m not too lazy to clean (There are some friends who would disagree with this statement). I don’t particularly dislike cleaning…………..(sssh, I said it quietly and I don’t think my partner heard). When it comes to cleaning though it’s just far more satisfying to have someone else DO it for you (or me in this case).

The truth of the matter is that I had a cleaner (and a very good one at that). It’s a long story as to why I don’t have a cleaner for my house anymore and one which I may tell another time.

In my line of work (teaching) we have cleaners who ‘save’ our rooms at the end of each day. I couldn’t survive without them. Gold dust!!! I was emailing at the of the day today when the cleaners came in and started vacuuming. It happens daily when I have that thought, ‘Should I leave the room?’, ‘Should I say “Oh don’t do that, let me help”?’ I did neither. I sat, and shamelessly continued emailing while humming to myself while the room transformed around me. Working with three and four-year olds, my room really takes a bashing! Sand, paper and mess everywhere!

At home it was a slightly different matter. When my cleaner used to come over and spruce the place up every two weeks she would whizz around and do a fab job. I remember when we first got her we would avoid being in the house at all costs. It felt ‘naughty’ to be in the house with someone else doing all the hard work.

It didn’t take me long to lose the guilt and soon I was on my laptop, sitting on the sofa watching the cleaner wipe units and shelves. How rewarding. I was paying the wage after all. I did have that awful thought when she brought the vacuum into the lounge. ‘Should I sit and watch her vacuum the room?’ It would mean lifting my legs so that she could reach under the sofa….. NO, that would be too bad! I did that years ago and my mother was not impressed! I left the room and sat in the bedroom before returning to the freshly vacuumed lounge.

I couldn’t bring myself to sit and be in the way. I’m not that cruel. Alas, with our cleaner gone we are left to fend for ourselves. I have rediscovered the vacuum. I have located the cloths and cleaning products. How depressing!

When can we get another cleaner?

Oh, the worries of children.

I was helping my children to get ready for playtime at school today.

One little boy was putting on his scarf, gloves and hat and was almost ready.

“Come on, let’s go!” I said to him.

“But… what about Christmas?!!” he replied.

He really emphasised it as though playtime would be having a huge impact on whether Christmas would actually happen this year or not. Bless.

Now THAT is a good excuse #1

All teachers hear excuses. The excuses are part of the teacher-child-parent relationship in our day-to-day role. I enjoy a good excuse, espcially if it seems a great deal of thought has gone into it.

This was an excuse from a parent (via the telephone).

School Office: “Hello”.

Parent: “Hi, my daughter can’t come into school today.”

School Office: “I’m sorry to hear that. Can I ask why?”

Parent: “We can’t get the electric gates open!”

 

Not necessarily the gates in question, but imagine they would be just like these.

 

Oh, how the other half live!