Sunday, October 16, 2011

To be grateful...

Every Tuesday, my class has their D.A.R.E. Officer come and talk to them. If you did not do D.A.R.E. in 5th or 6th grade, I am very sorry. It was one of my favorite things. I still remember Officer Edwards...I won the essay contest and he gave me the stuffed lion, I was stoked. I wonder where that is..? Anyway, it stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. IT is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives. (I just stole that from their website...)

Anyway, Mrs. I got out a little box with paper in it that the kids can write questions on and the DARE officer will answer them when he comes. I read through them before hand just to make sure they are appropriate questions. Most commonly you will find, "Have you ever arrested someone and been shot at?" or "How many gangs do you break up and take to jail?"

Because you always break up an entire gang at the same time and haul them all to the big house...ESPECIALLY in Utah.  Good children.

Today I was reading through the questions and found one that read, "If my parents smoke in the garage when it is closed and then I go out their later and accidentally breathe in the smoke because I can't hold my breath long enough, can I still get cancer? I try really hard to make them smoke all the way outside, but they won't. They sometimes smoke in the house too. --Please don't read out loud."

My heart broke. Here is this little girl, that is as tender as can be. Whose mom and step dad are heavy chain smokers and who knows what else. She is frequently with her dad and step mom and they are the rock in her life, but custody rights demand she spends so much time a month with her mom.

Now, we all know that just inhaling the remnant of a cigarette smoked should not, under typical circumstances give you cancer, but you remember the huge emphasis placed on second hand smoke and the harmful effects that it can have. She is more than concerned about that and the fact that she has to hold her breath in her own house.

Are there a lot of kids like this? Yes. I am surrounded by them at my school as I can smell smoke on a lot of their clothes as I get on their level to answer questions. But the last few weeks have just really given me cause to reflect on the life that I was provided with because of the good choices that my mom and dad were constantly making. I am so grateful that I had my mom to come to my parent teacher conference and the maturation program with me (super funny story about that to come!) I am so grateful, that even though she was always half an hour late picking me up from after school choir, that she was there. I knew she was coming and not off partying and drinking with her friends. I have lots to be grateful for. I am learning more and more everyday about how I have had quite the fairytale life...and I am trying everyday to not take it for granted!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Excerpts from 6th Grade

I have learned, in my past few weeks (almost 8) of teaching, that sixth graders are just not near as funny as second graders. They have a lot more of other things than second graders like; attitude, chattiness, disrespect, sarcasm, knowledge etc. ;) But their knowledge is already so great that the amount of funny things coming out of their mouths are a lot less. But we have a few and last week was one that I was laughing at for quite some time. I am not sure if anyone else is going to think it is funny...but you probably should just tell me you laughed to humor me...ok? OK, thanks.

So we threw a baby shower for Mrs. I (my cooperating teacher) last week. She is due in about 3 weeks. Crazy right? I know. The class moms put it all together and it meant that I did not have to plan the day from 2:00-3:00, love things like that. They played typical baby shower games that the kids just loved. The melted candy bar in the diaper one, where you have to smell it and look at it to determine what it is. The game is gross, I am not sure why it is played. But the kid's faces were totally worth it. We played where you cut a piece of string however long you think will go around the mothers belly etc. It was a super fun time, not to mention I got a Capri Sun and grapes-- Love class parties!

At the end of the shower, I was getting the kids ready to go to P.E. and band. When Mrs. I said, "Class, the next science rotation unit we are starting is on sound. I just want to put a thought in your mind about bear cub." (That is what she calls her child)
She continues to ask the class why they think that the sounds bear cub is currently making inside her, can not be heard by people. A lot of different solutions were thrown out there and eventually one student said, "I don't think bear cub is making any noises." followed by, "Yeah, because he is connected to you. So if he were making any noises they would be coming out of Mrs. I's mouth."

I almost died. Mostly because the image of my cooperating teacher all of a sudden letting out a wail of a cry in the middle of trying to teach a lesson, is pretty much the funniest mental picture. I assured my student, that just because bear cub is connected to Mrs. I, does not mean that he has control over the sounds that come out of her mouth...or anywhere else for that matter. It made for a real good laugh and I enjoyed it.

P.S. Babies actually CAN cry in the womb! I just researched it. Cool!

What funny things have you heard kids say lately? They keep life entertaining, that is for sure!