Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gotta Move

Once I came across Big Bro at the table, working on an activity page like this.

I'm sure he started out seated. He was focused on his activity, but it looks like the rest of him was trying to take off (that's my guess, at least).

Big Bro enjoys many sedentary activities such as dot-to-dots, jigsaw puzzles and avoiding getting dressed in the morning. But even then, they're often done hanging over the arm of the couch, upside down or maybe in some sort of yoga pose. That can't be comfortable, I think to myself, even if kids are pretty bendy.

I mean, you read all the time about how kids need to move. Run, jump, climb trees and all that. You can see that need in them. Even mellow kids like mine. It seems like, once the wiggles kick in, they can't be avoided.
(Reminds me of my old Kindergartners; once they started pulling their pants up and looking at their knees, you know someone was going to be inchworm-crawling across the floor in a minute, so the assembly better wrap up).

One day, Big Bro excitedly set a goal of reading twenty books in a row with me. Brought in the big pile with great anticipation about how awesome this would be. He was determined to reach that goal, even if things were going awry after about four books:

During Skype calls, my parents could be cardboard cut-outs compared to the scene on our end; one of squirmy boys climbing on the couch and off the couch and on the couch and off the couch and a flip over my shoulder and a few laps with the wagon and then a backward somersault off the couch again. Not hyper, but always on the go, even if they're not going anywhere. I can't believe how little they stay in one spot. 

It's some sort of life irony that the ones with the least responsibility have the most energy. Kids are just not meant to sit very long, even if they plan on it. They just gotta move... so even when they're colouring, it might have to be in a downward dog pose.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Teaching Days

I thought I'd do a "Throwback Thursday" post for my blog this week. Seeing as how it's Back to School season, today I'm sharing a cartoon from my early teaching days; specifically, how hard it was at times to be serious when it was time to be serious, now that I was 'the adult'.

Funny stuff happens. Kids are funny, and often, I still feel like I have the sense of humour of one. But sometimes, as teachers (or now, as parents), it's our job to take the high ground and emphasize the impropriety of whatever hilarious event is unfolding. I got myself in trouble a few times over the years trying to keep a straight face.

Picture it: Halifax, 2001, supply teaching in Grade 5 Science:

Me: Name the parts of the urinary system. (I think the teacher left these lessons for me on purpose)
Student: The urethra, the urea, and... the URANUS!
(Laughter ensues)
Another student: No, that's the DIGESTIVE system, Kyle. Ugh. *rolls eyes*

After a minute with my face turned toward the wall, shoulders shaking, I regain my composure and turn around to clarify with calm maturity that it's actually the solar system, but 2 out of 3 was pretty good.

I'm still like that now. I've had to fake a coughing fit so as not to lose face during one of Big Bro's antics.

But, you know, whether teaching or parenting, you have to have a sense of humour. And, when kids are involved, it's impossible not to. Most of the time.

And it's great for the kids to see you laugh, too-- except for situations such as the one below drawn from my student teaching days, when I was being observed and evaluated for my classroom management skills. It was not the time to be giggling with the six-year-olds.

It wasn't funny that the kids were wasting food or making work for the custodian . But it was a riot how solemn the teacher was informing the kids that egg rolls are not for toilets.

(Hmm, that sounds like a name for a children's book.)