Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Precocious children

seventies Emma

I spend an hour every school day doing battle, errr, I mean, working with the dear little children in Emma's classroom. Don't get me wrong, I love that hour. The kids are still exactly that: kids. And yet? I work primarily with the group of top readers/writers. Want to know something about smart kids? They're SMART.

Yes, fine, top scores on tests, first ones done on most projects, know the answer to everything you toss at them. But also? SMART. As in: smart alecs, masters of distraction and misdirection, "throw some words on the paper and turn the page and be done" champions. And today, they won. At the end of my hour, I told Emma's teacher that I was escaping. He begged me to take him along.

Most days, they make me laugh. Today, they almost made me lose my voice. I'm fairly certain they got together before I arrived and plotted my downfall:

  • "Let's make sure that each of us is always working on something different and need it explained, repeatedly."
  • "Let's pretend that we have no idea what any of the vocabulary words mean; you know, the ones we've been working on all week."
  • "Let's all ask the same questions, at different times, repeatedly."
  • "Let's write down partial sentences as answers, even though she hasn't let us do that ever."
  • "Let's summarize the story we've been reading all week by making up completely new stories off the top of our head, repeatedly!"
  • "Let's wiggle so much that she has to tell each of us to sit down, many, many times."
  • "Then, let's ask for hugs as she leaves, just to make her think she was imagining it all!"

There are only eight of them in that group, but I would swear that some days they multiply. And turn into monkeys. Good thing they're cute little monkeys, it's the only thing that saves them.


CC said...

You know, I have so few truly smart kids that I work with, that I'd have NO Idea what to do in these situations. I guess I'm really gonna get it as my son gets older, b/c he is one bright cookie (or should that be star?)

loonyhiker said...

What you described is what I miss most about not being in the classroom! I love that picture of Emma! She has the look of pure joy on her face.

Anonymous said...

I work with 400 kids a week in the library- OMG you hit the nail on the head! Those who work in schools are a passionate group- they have to be in order to return to work with such enthusiasm every day.

Keep it up!


scrapgeek said...

Oh yes - had those experiences on parent help. You are not their parent and not their teacher so....