Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A little rusty?

I like to think I am an educated woman. I have a diploma collecting dust somewhere. I try to keep my brain in gear by picking up a substitute job here and there. I should be able to handle 5 nights of four, five, six and seven year olds, right?

SQUEAK!

That’s the wheel in my brain trying to get a moving. The first night went off beautifully without a hitch. Everything was smooth and practically effortless. The biggest problem we had was that the markers were mostly on us and not the mural we were coloring. I spent almost 15 minutes talking about Ruth and Boaz and paraphrasing the story out of the Bible. I was almost done when an adorable little boy asked, “What is wheat?” which led to a discussion about growing and farming and that night I just happened to have a farmers wife as my helper. It was magical.

Then came night number two. I didn’t get supper on the table until 5:30 and I still had to shower. I spent all day preparing memory coloring books to give to each child. I felt prepared but when I got there kids were looking for me because our assigned spot had changed and there was mass confusion. At the start of the evening I was holding one nametag so I wandered over to her mother and said, “Is she here tonight?” To which she promptly pointed to her child sitting in the front row plain as day. “Oops”, I swallowed hard. It was going to be a long night.

SQUEAKY SQUEAKITY SQUEAK!

During music we learned another new song and the boys wouldn’t do the actions. In games one little girl had to potty, “RIGHT NOW”, and the outside door was locked. Coming in from games one of the kids knocked over the rainforest trees in the hallway. We had only five minutes to eat snack and use the restroom. The Bible lesson was not successful. There were no listening ears in the room. We passed out the coloring books only to have most of the kids color every page instead of the ones that corresponded to the night’s lesson, (note to self – do not hand out five nights of lessons unless you want all of them colored). The craft was a one on one activity with lots of glue. Then at the last 20 minutes of class time I had a child ask me, “is it time to go home, yet?” A sure sign that he was thoroughly enjoying my teaching presence. For the last activity we pinned the beak on Bill the toucan and I put the picture of the toucan so high I had to lift half of the students up to have half a chance of getting close. (Note to self- measure all students to come up with an average height for paper before playing game, round down.) Then, after the evening had come to a close a mother came to me and asked where her child’s clothes were. I was clueless. As far as I knew that child was wearing those clothes all night. I searched high and low for my helper who was nowhere to be found. I finally discovered the soiled clothing in the bathroom. The mother, I am sure, was not impressed with my resourcefulness.

Needless to say I was exhausted last night when my son showed me his coloring sheets from his class, which is another section of the same age students I have. He had two neat little art sheets to show me that his obviously much well-oiled teacher had planned and successfully executed.

Sigh.

Wish me luck tonight and a quick prayer for strength and a little oil for those squeaky wheels wouldn’t hurt either.
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