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Today, I think I found out where teachers get their buzz. You know what I mean. That feeling of excitement when something in your job goes really well. I get it here when I get a lot of complimentary or interesting comments on a post.
Anyway, I have always thought teachers were a little nuts. Not in a bad way, but who wants to spend all day with other people’s children. Add dealing with the administration and the parents (especially the parents, we can be real pains in the ass) and it sounds like hell in a classroom (that happens to get really hot in the summer).
Still, to be a good parent, I volunteer in Libby’s classroom once a week at the Small Town School. We work on independent reading, where the student reads a portion of a book aloud and then we discuss it one on one. With 22 kids in the class, the teacher certainly doesn’t have a lot of time to sit down and work one-on-one with the kids so he has parents help out with that (especially with all the time spent having to prepare for the standardized tests, oh, sorry, the tests start next week so I am a little resentful).
Today, Libby’s class was studying poetry. They were reading a poem by Melville Cane called “Snow Towards Evening” (Yea, I had never heard of it either). I was working with a little boy (and I mean little, he is probably the smallest one in the class). He read me the poem and we were discussing it. He missed the point of what the poem was discussing, which was snow in the early evening (hence the name). We talked about metaphors and I asked him if there was anything in the poem that could be a metaphor for something else. I could actually see it on his face when he got it. It was the most amazing thing. You could almost see the wheels turning as everything clicked into place for him. He then interpreted the poem.
While I still could not spend all day, every day with other people’s children, I got it for a few seconds. I could understand the buzz that drives teachers to do what they do, even while they have to deal with PTA moms, stuffy administrators and standardized tests. Then, a group of kids ran screaming down the hall and I beat it out of there to return to my quiet office, where I belong.