4 minutes inside a teacher’s brain

Sit on your bottom, fold your legs, hands in your lap, eyes on the teacher.

Why doesn’t this work anymore?  Why are my students ignoring me?  Why is Duck lying down on top of Ferdinand?

Everybody needs to sit down and listen right now.  I appreciate the way Edward is listening.  Thank you, Edward.

Good morning children.  (“Good morning, Mrs. X!”)  What is the letter of the week?  (“W!”  “wuh!”)  Right, the letter of the week is Ww.  It makes this sound:  wuh. 

Why is Leo wandering the room?  No, no, no, let’s not start that again.

Leo, if you want your clothespin for centers time you need to sit down right now in the meeting area.  Okay, let’s practice our letter sounds.  Do you think I can trick you?  (“Nooo!”)

Leo is not paying any attention.  Try to hook him.

Leo, look, I’ve got the letter cards.  Do you think I can trick you?

Leo is not looking at me.  Move on.

What sound?  (“MMM!”)  Right, mmmm.

What sound?  (“KKKuh!”)  Yes, /k/.

What are Miss Nelson and that special ed teacher from the district talking about over there?  Are they watching me?  Talking about me?  Argh, it’s so distracting.

What sound?  (“NNNN!”)  Yes, nnnn.

What the heck, Titch is totally not paying attention.  I know he doesn’t know most of the letters and sounds, and no wonder.  He’s not looking or listening at all.

Titch, please look up here.  Titch.  Titch!  Thank you, sweetie, please pay attention and do the sounds with us.

What sound?  (“aaaa!”)  Yes, aaa.

Great, lost him already.  And Duck is picking his nose again.  And wiping it on the kid next to him!

Duck.  No.  Please keep your hands in your lap.  What sound?  (“LLLL!”)  Yes, llll.

Leo is only doing about every third sound, and he usually loves to do the sounds with us.  GREAT, now Owen is not paying attention either.

Owen, Titch, Duck, look up here.  You need to look to learn the letters and sounds.

Why isn’t Swimmy wearing his glasses?  Why was he pouting this morning?  For that matter, why was Titch pouting this morning?  Why did Duck and Owen get in trouble in music class?  Why didn’t I remember to write the morning message?  Why have I been getting migraines every day for three days in a row?  Why are Duck and Princess so hyper today?

What sound?  (“RRRR!”)  Right, rrrrr.

Will you look at that?  Princess is paying attention!  She is looking at the cards, and listening to her friends say the sounds, and copying them.  Oh man, at least Princess is learning something today.

Thank heaven for small mercies.


9 thoughts on “4 minutes inside a teacher’s brain

  1. Thanks, Juliann. I really wish I could have a drink, but not with this migraine — or the migraine meds. I have a date with my honey tomorrow night for sushi and a movie, and I can’t wait. I’m going to have a tropical drink as big as my head.

  2. I hate it when other adults in the room talk together or go on the computer, or talk on the phone when they should be monitoring the children!! I feel your pain!

  3. I have a Leo
    and a Titch
    and a Duck
    and an Owen and a ………………
    Sometimes I HATE whole group instruction.
    Why is it that the ones who NEED to pay the most attentions are off on another planet…….ALL the time……..

  4. ROFL… It’s amazing (or disturbing) how we can think about a million things and still teach a lesson all at the same time. On Friday (with about a million adults in my classroom) I remember my inner monologue consisted of “stay focused on the kids and the lesson, stay focused on the kids and the lesson…” UGH!

  5. Whew! Early El. teachers get a lot of respect from me. I teach fifth grade and can’t imagine doing what you all do. Thanks for this glimpse – very well written and enjoyable!

  6. Pingback: Carnival of Education at Joanne Jacobs

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