Here is a smattering of this and that, little funny and/or endearing things that have happened in my class over the past few weeks.
My students tell me on a fairly regular basis that they want me to curl my hair. I’m not sure if this means they think I need some big improvement or if they just like people with curled hair, but I find it so amusing. I told them earlier in the year that I needed to wait until I had grown my hair out longer. We were having indoor recess one day, so we were all playing various games on the floor. One of my kids called out my name from across the room. When I looked up, he was holding a single piece of hair that he had found on the floor. “Mrs. O’Connor, your hair is getting long! Maybe you can curl it now!”
Another student said something about “illegal aliens.” I asked him if he knew what that meant and he stumbled around, smiling, in an effort to come up with a definition: “Well, ‘illegal’ means it’s against the law.” I explained that it meant people who come here from other countries illegally, and just to keep it simple, I said, “You know, like without a passport.” Still grinning, he said, “Well then they’re all illegal because aliens never come with passports!”
The highlight of grading papers last night, on a Friday night, was a note at the top of a spelling test that said, “I love you Mrs. O’Connor.” I think it’s so endearing that even my big kids (big to me, anyway) still tell me they love me. It just melts my heart.
I really love my school and am loving the basis in classical education. The kids are exposed to classical literature and great masterpieces in art, and they are actually able to appreciate and enjoy it, which is so cool to see.
Even though the kids don’t do much with Shakespeare until they are in 5th grade, we had some people from Shakespeare Dallas come for a program they do for kids called “All the World’s a Stage.” I told my kids just a little about who Shakespeare was the day before the presentation, but that was about the only exposure they had had to him thus far. The program was phenomenal! We had 2nd – 8th graders all watching and they absolutely loved it! The coolest thing is that now they are all really excited about Shakespeare. The Shakespeare people performed some scenes from some of his plays, told about who he was, explained some things about acting and stage combat, and called students up to participate in various ways. They did a really cool thing where they had one couple on the left side of the stage performing the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet and another couple on the right side performing the same scene but translated into modern, kid-friendly English. They kept alternating between the two couples so the kids could see what was happening and understand it, which I thought was such a great idea.
At the beginning of the presentation, they started with a sword fighting scene from Romeo and Juliet, complete with combat music playing in the background. That, of course, was a superb way to get the kids’ attention right away. One of my students, who was sitting next to me, leaned over during the fight scene and whispered excitedly, “This is better than the MOVIES!!!” Almost an hour later, during another part of the presentation, the student on the other side of me replied, “You’re right, this IS better than the movies! I think The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe [we’re going to see the play at Dallas Children’s Theater] is going to be better than the book AND the movie!!” A fourth grader from the other class said, when it was over, “If we stay, will they do it again??” Another one of my students checked out a book for children from our library called Tales from Shakespeare and poured over it eagerly. How awesome to see 9 and 10-year-old kids loving Shakespeare so much! My pure enjoyment at their enjoyment of such wonderful, rich literature reminds me that, for better or worse, I am indeed a teacher, through and through.