We had an intense morning, and Miss Slinger and I weren’t sure when it was over what exactly had happened. It wasn’t like anyone was terrible, but there was a fair amount of not listening to my directions, quite a bit of wandering around, a few kicks and elbows in the wrong place, a lot of noise in the hall when trying to line up, and an unusual difficulty with buckling down and just DOING some work, (even if that work was in the block corner or the art center). Maybe, come to think of it, the children were weary of not having recess (older kids have been testing, and they are all outside taking a break and running wild during our normal recess, so we haven’t been able to go outside). At the end of the morning we had recess, and it was lovely, so maybe tomorrow will be better.
Anyway, when I got back in after sending the ducklings home, I told her, “doesn’t feel tiring to be their School Mommies?” But Miss Slinger pointed out — quite rightly — that I am their School Mommy, and she is their School Cool Auntie.
It’s totally true. I’m the one who puts them in the take-a-break chair, I’m the one who makes the rules, I’m the one who makes them clean up, or sit down, or do work. She’s the one they get lots of attention from, and she’s often the one they go to for hugs. The girls love hanging out at her table and chatting with her when they are supposed to be doing something else. They love her so much that they often call me by her name, as if “Miss Slinger” comes out more naturally than mine. Miss Slinger freely admits that she prefers to be in her position, and is happy to leave the hard stuff to me.
And, frankly, I’m happy with where I am, too. First of all, I have a Miss Slinger, so I could not be more fortunate. Assistants like her must be somewhat rare. Second, I get to do the intellectually challenging part about figuring out what they need to know, researching the best way to do it, and planning the lessons. Third, I do the hard stuff, but I get lots of rewards for it. I love being their teacher.
Even on the intense days.