Know what? I’ve watched 3 kids all day everyday for the past 3 weeks and I’ve determined that teachers can never be compensated enough for what they do all year long, monetarily or otherwise.
From roughly 8:00 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon, my friend Lynette teaches 100 (or 30, but after 5 it might as well be a thousand) 5 and 6 year olds. I confess that even when my daughter was in her classroom I avoided it like the plague, because that many kids in a confined area would send me into cardiac arrest faster than a … I can’t even think of anything clever because I’m hyperventilating thinking about all those kindergarteners.
Bless my friend’s utterly precious heart.
Some kids are totally chill. Some are straight crazy. Some are a little dramatic, some are moderately dramatic, and some are over-the-top, get-that-kid-a-valium dramatic. They are young, and restless, sensitive and excited, and irrational, and distracted and distracting, and quiet and shy, and sweaty, and whiny and tired.
Some got a good night’s sleep and ate breakfast. Some came to school in the same clothes they wore the day before and are starving. Some thrive in a formal classroom setting. Some have to be in perpetual motion. Some are angry. Some are sad. Some need extra attention. And some may actually do well on medication.
A good 85% of them have more energy than a hyperactive labrador puppy on crack cocaine.
But mostly, kids are loud.
I’m sure Lynette constantly referrees and helps kids go potty and wipes snotty noses and germ-x’s hands and ties shoes and sings songs. She has to be nice and silly and funny but alert and firm and in control at all times. She teaches kids to sit still at circle time and not pick their nose and eat the boogers (at least not in public). She teaches them to raise their hands and don’t bite your friends, and clean up everybody do your share. She teaches them addition and subtraction and the reading of actual words in books, and? She does this all without an assistant. Holy crap balls.
I’d be curled up in a corner rocking back and forth in a fetal position by 9:00 a.m, trying not to slap somebody.
Also: She buys classroom junk with her own money. She has her own family to worry about to0, so unfortunately there’s no coming home and passing out in a pool of her own slobber for the next 12 hours. She brainstorms and plans and cleans her classroom all in her “sparetime” which I’m really curious about because from what I can tell, no such thing can possibly exist for her. She meets with parents, and she does so with grace and couth and restraint.
Again with me in the corner.
So? I’m trying not to ever complain again about the challenges of wrangling other people’s kids. And I’m kind of convinced my friend is an actual angel and I thank God for her and people like her that are this committed to our children–I’m pretty sure they’re not in it for the money.