Today was one of those days that started off horrendous. I set my alarm 10 minutes later because I thought the extra sleep would be good. Boy was I wrong! I ran 10 minutes late all morning. Then I got yelled at. I carried all my supplies out to the car and my bagel fell in the driveway. On the way to school, the cars in front of me decided to stop for no reason. I had to slam on the brakes so hard I think I bruised my collar bone. Stopping that fast caused the bucket of water and flowers I was taking to school to fly from beside the passenger seat to the front on the passenger foot area and spill about a half gallon of water on my floor mats. Super. It was a wet bag, eat a bagel off the ground kind of morning.
Once I got school, things really improved. I brought my Venus Flytrap, Elvira, to school and the students were super interested in her. I fed her some bloodworms and the kids were really pretty interested. Showing Elvira off is fun because I do not know anyone else who has a Venus Flytrap living in their kitchen. My teacher said she was very surprised by the plant because in her head Venus Flytraps were like the one from Little Shop of Horrors (a movie I have never seen but have recently looked up at her suggestions). It’s pretty fun to have strange plants that no one else would think of owning. The kids asked questions about Elvira and I love when kids ask questions about things I know about and can share with them. Answering questions is my favorite part of teaching. When students are so interested in something that they want to know more than what they heard, it makes it worth the struggle of getting them to listen to other things. That is what education is all about, learning how to learn so that you can do it your whole life and learning to be intelligent, participative, functional, and productive members of the community they live in. The best way to learn is to do something yourself, the second best way is to ask questions about it.
Speaking of asking questions to learn something, it was one of those days were my teacher and I worked really well together also. The kids are much more used to one of us picking up where the other left off now that I have been there for a while. The are also used to me stopping what I am doing to ask my teacher how she would do something or what I should do differently so that the students understand what is going on. I actually love it when I am teaching and she adds comments to what I am saying because it doesn’t make me feel dumb like I would if she told me I should have added this or clarified that. Instead, she just adds it in and I can make mental note of what she said and at what point she said it. I was leading the students through an activity where they made parts of a flower. I wasn’t sure exactly how she wanted it done so I just started winging it. I am not the best at winging it. I like structure and set lists of what comes first, second, third… It is good for me to be thrown in like that though because I will have to do activities spur of the moment like that sometimes.
My teacher clearly has whatever that thing is that makes a great teacher better than just plain good. She has this way of correcting you without making you feel stupid or totally wrong. I think that it is really important for students to have a teacher who can do that because then they won’t be afraid to think for themselves. They can think about things and be wrong and learn from that instead of just being shut down. I have said over and over how lucky I have been to be in her room and I’ll say it again for for good measure, I am so very lucky to be in her room. And I got all this on a Monday? She must be pretty good if I can learn that much on a Monday!