Some days as an elementary teacher are fun. And some days, meh, not so much. Every day is an exhausting one filled with lots and lots of activity. Every day is filled with kids talking, singing, laughing, shouting, running, jumping, whining... well you get the picture. Anybody who has children of their own can certainly see my point. Honestly, lately I haven't been as diligent as last year in finding the positive and happy parts of every day. I've been stuck in a kind of rut, feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated.
So, today, as I sat on the back carpet giving a spelling test to one of my groups, I looked around the room in between words and felt a really warm feeling about all these great kids and their variety of personalities and styles. I told myself that I would, starting that very minute, do more of what I did last year. Look for positives.
It didn't take long for one to hit me smack in the face.
"Number 6. Information. [Student name] couldn't find the information he needed for his animal report," I directed to my cute little spelling group.
I always use names of my students in the spelling sentences I give. Yep. That's just the way I roll. The kids get a kick out of it so why not? Personalized spelling tests.
A little hand waved in the air as the student continued to write next to the neat "6" on his paper. "How do you spell that?" he asked. In all seriousness.
I laughed out loud. The other three kids in our group caught it and laughed. He looked up over his glasses and smiled. Then he laughed.
"Oops!" he exclaimed. "I'm silly. I am the one who has to spell it," he said, still chuckling.
"Nice try," I told him, trying not to laugh. "But no sale. Spelling the word is what you are supposed to do."
And from that minute on, my day got significantly better.
At lunch, I peeked into the hallway and saw two of my little boys laughing and waving their hands in front of their faces. Now, anybody who spends much time around eight year old boys probably already knows where this story is headed.
"What's the story here?" I asked them, heading towards them.
"Well, it smells in our room!" giggled one as he exchanged looks with the other boy.
"Yeah, it smells because he farted in the room!" added the other boy.
"Well, let me get this straight," I started. "You're out in the hallway waving your hands frantically in front of your faces, claiming it smells because of something in the room? That doesn't make much sense to me," I said.
[really loud laughter]
And then, another boy who had walked out into the hallway and overheard our conversation chimed in.
"There are about twenty smells in our room at any given time," he stated. And he shrugged. So I shrugged and walked back into the room.
He was right, of course. Step into an elementary classroom and you're bound to get a whiff of some smell or another. Usually it's kind of a crayonpencilpizzaoldsocks kind of smell. Yummy.
So, maybe I felt more positive today because it's Friday. Or maybe I can start to turn around this negativity and look, once again, for all the positives that surround me every day and appreciate them.
We all have our own ways to spell "fun", but right about now, the word I'm thinking of starts with a capital "T" and ends with a "g".