You Scored A Top Ten

, , , , , | Learning | May 16, 2019

I’ve always been a bit advanced for my age. When I was four years old, my first preschool shut down halfway through the year, and the only other preschool at the time was at a local elementary school, so grandmother enrolled me there.

At the time, I could count up to 39 but was having trouble grasping 40, and when my grandmother told this to the staff, their response signaled to my grandmother that I would be going to a different school for kindergarten onward.

“Oh, we only care if she can count to ten!”

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Thinking With Your Brain By Landing On Your Butt

, , , , , , | Learning | March 22, 2019

I teach at a Montessori school, and one day, I was standing by the classroom door watching and greeting the kids as they left for their next class. As they were walking, a little boy bumped into a little girl and she fell down, landing on her buttocks. This girl is a child who easily cries, and the little boy watched her as her face started to crumble.

Normally, what would happen: the girl would cry and most probably come and complain to me that the little boy pushed her and she fell and got hurt. I could see that it was an honest mistake that the boy bumped into her and in my mind, I had already started thinking about how I was going to handle the situation.

I’m not kidding about what happened next. The little boy looked me straight in the eye and, less than a second later, threw himself down on the floor, landing on his buttocks, as well. He got up, slowly rubbing his back, and went over to the little girl and held out his hand to help her up. He said, “I’m sorry, [Little Girl]. Seems like we bumped into each other. Oh, no!”

The little girl was definitely looking slightly shocked. but she took his hand, got up, dusted herself off, and said, “Oops, sorry!” They walked off, smiling and waving goodbye to me. I was standing there with a stupefied expression, wondering just what the heck had happened.

That little boy is a genius. He avoided a scene and he knew it. This incident took place in literally a few seconds. The intelligence of children never fails to amaze me.

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Children Of The Cornleaves

, , , , , | Learning | November 17, 2018

(I’m reading a book to a class of four- and five-year-olds. Many of them read the book several times last fall, so I’m curious to see if any of them remember.)

Me: “There was an old lady who swallowed some leaves; I don’t know why she swallowed some leaves, perhaps she’ll—”

Class: *in unison* “DIE.”

(Sneeze. The answer was sneeze.)

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Reading A Bit Too Much Into The Situation

, , , , , | Learning | September 24, 2018

My mom has been a teacher for all my life, and often teaches me things before my school does, especially when I was younger. I’m relatively advanced for my age, which means that I have been reading since three. This occurred when I was four, and my mom worked as a first-grade teacher in the same school I attended.

For some reason, my school thought teaching four-year-olds Spanish was absolutely necessary, so we got a new Spanish teacher in the middle of the year when the first one quit. She came into the classroom and started putting up posters while we played. Being by the teacher’s desk, I spotted a paper that seemed interesting, mainly because it had the word “snack” on it. Bored, I started to read the paper, which I did out loud.

At first, the teacher didn’t notice anything. Then, when she heard me, her eyes got huge and she rushed to the class phone. Dialing my mom’s classroom, she yelled into the phone, “Mrs. [Our Last Name], your child can read!”

My mom simply replied, “I know. I thought her how.”

That teacher avoided my mom and me for the rest of the year.

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Adorable Level: Black Belt

, , , | Hopeless | September 19, 2018

I work with Japanese toddlers, who, like toddlers the world over, say the cutest things, especially when imitating the adults in their lives.

While putting on her shoes one day, one of the three-year-old girls — who hasn’t yet started speaking English unprompted — said to me in Japanese, “I have to go home now, sensei, but it will be okay; don’t cry!” I had to smother my laughter until she had gone.

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