Friday, April 06, 2007

"JOY"ous reflections

Yesterday was my last official day teaching Joy School. I was on the schedule to teach one more week in May, but unfortunately (uh huh) I will be out of town attending my brother's wedding, so I will be unable to teach that week. This all may be a bit premature, since things kinda got mixed up due to a new mom joining our group and messing with the dynamic. One of the boys in the group (Beeler) and the new boy (Brandon) don't get along, so Beeler has been taken out of Joy School temporarily to see if things will settle down. The thing that worries me is that Beeler's mom is on the schedule to teach like 3 more times, and if things don't settle down, will I have to take her weeks? I hope not, so let's just assume that the schedule is correct from here on out, and I am done. Here are a few things I would like to reflect on about my first year (I say that as if I'm actually stupid enough to do it again. Like pregnancy, maybe you forget what it's like!) as a Joy School mom.

1. Pictures. Why didn't I take more pictures? Not because the kids were so cute making letters of the alphabet out of their bodies, but because I want PROOF that I actually did joy school, and I survived it! I don't think many of my friends would believe it. I also should have taken pictures of the house right after the kids left, so Cameron would know that I at least had the courtesy of sweeping all the play doh and cheetos off the floor before he got home on a joy school day.

2. Patience. Why is it that when I used to babysit kids (as a teenager), I had all the patience in the world with them. I never felt the need to raise my voice, or threaten (with the exception of the kindergarten kid that threw a screwdriver at my head, but that's another story altogether.), but I have my own kids at home, along with 4 additional preschoolers, and it's quite common to hear me say things like: "If I have to tell you not to jump on my couch one more time, I will tape you to it" or "If you throw one more thing over the balcony, you're going to have a flying lesson!" More or less idle threats, there's just something about 3, 4, and 5 year olds that bring out the mean in me.

3. Lunchtime. You don't really appreciate how calm and smooth a meal can be until you have tried to eat lunch amongst a group of screaming children. Granted, lunchtime around here on a normal day is far from serene, but at least the noise is somewhat contained. Joy School made me wish that our house did not have such good acoustics. Making noise for the sake of making noise brings me to another common phrase I uttered on a teaching day: "Please stop screaming, Miss Sam's head is about to explode."

4. Humor. You really have to have a sense of humor to teach joy school, especially when you have to sit through a round of their Knock Knock Jokes, that all follow the same basic form:
Knock Knock
Who's there?
Banana who?
Banana POOPY!

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Hannah who?
Hannah POOPY!

You get the idea. Couple that with somebody blowing a raspberry, and then saying: "Eeew Noah", or "Eeew Andi" (implying that that child had just passed gas) it's enough to drive the sanest person crazy. Whoever taught them that, will be added to my list of people I'm no longer speaking to.

Finally #5. Lesson development: How come one day you teach there can be so much stuff to do in the lesson, that you have to leave out the songs or an art project just to be able to get through the lesson, and other days, you can do everything the lesson tells you to do, give the kids extra long free play times, and still have an hour at the end of the day with nothing for the kids to do but drive you crazy? That brings up an interesting point all in itself. How come when you want the kids to come to you so that you can teach them stuff, they run from you like you're the plague. But, once "school" is over, and you want them to go away and play, all they want to do is jump on the couch right next to you, and scream? Or it's when they decide they actually DO give two figs about the three bears song that they refused to learn earlier in the day!

Okay, so these weren't really "reflections" so much as grievances, I guess I got confused. I blame one too many blows to the head with flying juice boxes...


Anonymous said...

Man I wish I was done...dang maternity leave.