October 14, 2009

No Talking In the Library!

1982......It is a hot summer day and I am in my bedroom "teaching" my class of kids. There is a chalkboard against the wall and 5 dolls (my class) lined up against the bed. Each "student" has a paper to work on (thanks to my Aunt Melony--the teacher I always wanted to be like even if she did throw erasers at her students!), and I have a grade book to keep their attendance and grades in. Wait, what is that? Is someone talking while I am teaching? I chastise the student and put HIS name on the board....the girls in my class never got in trouble. We all know it is the boys that act up in school, and even as a 7 year old teacher I knew that! The boys hope I don't make them write lines during recess, but I don't make any promises! Outside my bedroom is my dad listening to me talk to dolls and teach them how to add. He is smiling because he is so amused by the fact that I am entertaining myself with this imaginary play time. To me teaching came naturally--even if I did fail all of the boys just for the mere fact that they were boys! It was something I always wanted to do and I knew I could be good at.
Fast Forward 27 years......I now have a 7 year old daughter who wants to be a teacher and she tells me almost every day after school! She sits in the sunroom and carries on the same type conversations with her students as I did with mine. She has the same type of imagination as I had at that age, and I do find it amusing!
Last week I decided to finally open up the boxes of books that had been sitting in the sunroom for a year now. We got a bookshelf from a family that Ben was moving, and I wanted to get the kids' books out and on the bookshelf, so we set to work. During the process of moving books from boxes to the bookshelf, Annalisa got very excited...."OOH! I have an idea! We can make this like a liberry and I can teach my class here. Mom, do you know how to make this look like a liberry?"
I gently corrected her, "The word is liBRARY....not liBERRY....it isn't a fruit. And, yes I think it is already looking like a library."

"Well, what if we get a book and don't know where to put it back? Can you put numbers on the books like in the liberr....library?"

"No, I am not going to put numbers on the books. Just as long as you get them back on the shelf it will be fine. There isn't a 'right' place for them."

"OOOH!! I have another idea....have you ever seen in the library how there is a chair and a place for the teacher to read a book to her students? Well, we can move this chair [enter Ben's photography chair] over by the window and I can read to my students in the library."

"Ok, that sounds good."

"OOOOHHHH!! Then you can hang a sign in the library that says 'Newton Library' so people will know they are in a library. Do you think you can do that, Mom?"

"No, Annalisa I can't hang a sign from the ceiling...I can't even reach the ceiling!"

"Well, I am already making a sign for our library that says it is the Newton Library."

I think during the time that we moved books, she said the word "library" close to 100 times. I have come to the conclusion that she loves to hear herself talk, and in order to hear herself she must make her conversations longer, thus the reason for repeating non-essential words!
Here is the sign she made......do you see any repetition?

And here are a couple of pictures of the library:
Once she got her class up and running in the LIBRARY :-), she decided to start a good conduct chain. Most teachers use these as an incentive for the kids to be good when they are in other classes, the hallway, or when the teacher steps out of the room. The premise is to get the chain to reach all the way to the floor and then you get a party. Annalisa is doing a paper clip chain and I know I can't wait until the day of the party! Here is her chain.....

When I asked her to come help me unload the dishwasher the other day, she asked me, "Mom, how many paper clips do you think my class should earn if they are quiet while I am gone?"
"Oh, I don't know...2? I think 2 would probably be good." She agreed that 2 would be good and continued to put dishes away. A few minutes later she stood up and looked shocked, "Did you hear that, Mom?" I didn't hear anything, but before I could answer she said, "Did you hear HIM talking while I am gone? HE is going to ruin it for everybody!"
Oh well! I guess even my 7 year old knows it is the BOYS that ruin it for everybody!! ;-)


Windy Smith said...

That paper clip change is a very inventive idea! I might have to use that someday. I am glad you waited a week to post this so you could get a good story from it and not just be irritated with her for saying liberry a hundred times that day

Caci said...

I used to make loops out of construction paper and make a chain with that in my classroom. It is easier to reach the floor faster that way, and well you know with my kids they would have never reached the floor with paper clips! LOL

Dr Eva said...

ROFL!!! Thank you so much for sharing! I remember how you used to be so great at poetry too. ;) I also played teacher ALL OF THE TIME! You story just cracked me up though! Have I mentioned that I miss you??