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There Was A Reason Mama Left Her With You

, , , | Learning | October 19, 2018

(I work at a kindergarten. It is the first day of class, and some kids tend to cry because they don’t want their parents to leave. One tiny four-year-old girl is in my arms, crying softly. But when we get to the classroom, she suddenly launches backwards headfirst. I barely hold on to her before she hits her head. She starts screaming like a banshee, and kicks me repeatedly, so I lay her as carefully as possible on a rug. She keeps screaming, dropping on the floor, hitting her head, leaving hundreds of scratches on her own chest, and banging her head some more against a door. I try to get her to sit on a chair, but she jumps down so hard it flips and almost impales her. If I try to talk to her, she gets even more angry. We call her family, but no one picks up. And by the end of the — short, thank God — day, she is covered of scratches and bumps, but calm and laughing. I am extremely scared that I will get in trouble, though. I explain everything to the girl’s mom when she arrives.)

Mom: *laughs and smiles* “I have five kids, and they have all been like that on the first few days of school. Don’t worry.”

(This happened for one whole month until the girl and I bonded, but my coworkers and I still remember her as Demon Spawn.)

Speech Therapy: There’s An App For That

, , , , | Related | October 17, 2018

(I teach in a low-income area, where lots of people live around a small school designed to care for the children of working families. We make sure the kids have all their needs met and recommend extra help if we think the kids need it. We have a very important rule, though: nothing is free. We charge very little for everything, but the idea was to avoid people thinking of it as charity.)

Me: “[Student’s Mother], we have assessed that [Nephew that lives with her] and [Son] will both need urgent speech therapy. Now, we went ahead and got a fantastic therapist who is willing to come here and do it for 2000 colones each kid per week.”

(That equals about four dollars.)

Mother: “Oh, no! Can’t she do it for free? Remember, [Nephew] was born with hydrocephalus; he is special needs.”

Me: “Yes, this is exactly why we got this fantastic therapist. But this community is too far away; we need to, at least, pay for her gas money.”

Mother: “This makes me so sad… I guess we won’t be able to get them the help they need.”

(Then, she proceeded to place her newest iPhone on the table as she picked up and left. At the end, the kids did get the help they needed, but I had to actually sit with her and go through her finances so she could see where she could cut back in order to pay for therapy.)

What’s Cooler Is A Castle Filled With Transformers

, , , , | Learning | October 16, 2018

(I am a teacher, taking kindergarteners on a trip to the pumpkin patch. On the way there, we pass a castle that is well known in the area. The bus full of kindergarteners is very excited to see it. A student turns to me:)

Kindergartener: “Why is there a castle here?!”

Me: “Well, someone just decided they wanted to build a castle.”

(The student turns to look out the window and see the castle again, then turns back to me. I’m expecting another question about the castle.)

Kindergartener: “I wish I was a transformer!”

(Well, that’s pretty cool, too.)

This Girl Has A Mouth On Her

, , , | Learning | October 15, 2018

(I work in a kindergarten. I try to switch on the light; it flickers and dies.)

Me: *to my class of four-year-olds* “Oops! Oh, no, kids! The light is sick!”

Girl: “Silly teacher, the light can not be sick.”

Me: *laughs* “Yes, you are correct.”

Girl: “Of course, because it doesn’t have a mouth.”

Might Need To Walk Them Through It

, , , , | Learning | October 14, 2018

(I’m working part time as a teacher in a nursery school, where the kids are all four or five years old. Today we’re getting the kids to draw around their feet and colour them in so that the parents can hang them on a wall for six months and then shove them in a cupboard.)

Me: “Okay, everyone, can you all take off one shoe and one sock?”

(Five minutes later:)

Me: “Okay ,everyone, can you all take off one shoe and one sock on the same foot?”