Tuesday, March 8, 2022

SLICE #8: I meant to get my reports written....


I am a literacy coach at a K-8 school. As such, I spend a lot of time in classrooms, which I love. I am really good about visiting their classrooms often. I am really good about jumping in and co-teaching or modeling or cleaning up or stapling or whatever they need. I am really good about sending teachers encouraging emails about the great things I saw in their classrooms. One thing I am really NOT good about doing is filling out the endless reports that my district seems to require. No matter how hard I try, I seem to always be more than a little behind. 

This week, we started the third trimester of the school year. And I told myself, after a grueling week of trying to catch up, that I was absolutely going to keep on my observations and reports. And so this afternoon, I went into kindergarten, with absolutely great intentions. 

Only it didn't go so well. 

First there was the pencil incident. I usually sit in approximately the same place in the classroom, next to a little guy who is a selective mute. We are great friends, and we communicate well, but I have never actually heard him say a word. Not one. Until today that is. 

We were sitting on the rug, doing a writing activity. He had a pencil in his hand. And then another little friend came up, insisting that he had her pencil. NO! He declared loudly. And I was more than surprised to hear words come out of his mouth. Usually it's just gestures. I decided I had better help resolve the issue. 

I guess it's entirely possible that he did have her pencil. They were both yellow #2 pencils, with no distinguishing features. They even both had erasers. She was insistent though, that he had hers. It turns out hers was longer, by at least half an inch. And, according to her, it had more words inside of it. I am not one to argue with the logic of a five-year-old, so I found another long pencil, put the shorter pencil in the can, and went back to my observation. 

But then there was the hair-cutting incident. Just after I had resolved the pencil problem, another little girl came up to me. One of her table mates was cutting hair. "His hair?" I asked. "Or yours?" 

"No his, it's black," said my little tow-headed friend. 

And sure enough, when I went to the table, there was someone with a big hunk of hair in his hand. And it was black. 

"Are you cutting your hair?" I asked, pretty sure, given the chunk of hair in his hand and the chunk that appearing missing from his bangs, that he had in fact, been cutting hair. 

I hadn't even quite resolved that one when the next excitement came up. 

One of the little girls rushed up behind me. "Dr. Carol, you have to come. C. had an accident. In the bathroom." I rush across the room thinking there might be blood, but there was no blood. Just a big puddle. C had wet her pants.  I got her dried off as best as I could and took her to the office. On the way down there, almost a city block away, I got the scoop. This was her second time wetting her pants. It kind of feels funny to walk in wet pants. Did I think the office would have any dry shoes in her size?

And so, I really meant to do my observation, but kindergarten life just kind of got in the way. 


Jean said...

This is so perfect, and this is why you love what you do. Thank you for doing these slices. I so look forward to them!

Ramona said...

My day of errands, a doctor appointment, a visit to the library, and a walk before an evening Zoom seems lame in comparison to yours. But there was one moment of serendipity! I discovered two monster cookies in the freezer from Christmas while I was clearing space for two big packages of chicken tenders.
And reports were the bane of my teaching life! I haven't missed them one bit! The kids, yes! Reports, never!

Carol Varsalona said...

Carol, your slice unfolded as a delightful one. Well, not the report-making but the kinder stories. How can you sink your teeth (brain) into paperwork when little ones need assistance? Life as a coach is a busy job so keep on doing what we need from teachers, kidwatching, patience, and a caring heart.

Elisabeth Ellington said...

Oh kindergarten! What a different beast you are. I cannot imagine trying to keep up with all of the different needs and energies of a kindergarten class! No wonder you didn't get your reports written. I am sure that kindergarten teachers can't imagine dealing with the sarcasm and disengagement of a group of seniors (my classroom sweet spot) either!