Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wish, Come True

The honeymoon is over. Oh, me and Mr. T are great- I'm talking about that beginning of the school year honeymoon, where kids have yet to get "comfortable", teachers go easy on the homework, all is well, little woodland animals make us dresses....
Claire has spelling words to master by Friday, when they will have a test, and Lydia has a math sheet where she has to make tally marks and numbers. I know, big deal, right? But, it IS a big deal- I feel the stress of them getting their work done almost as if it were my own.

When Claire has spelling homework, I am reminded of one of those "teacher stories" that we all have. It goes way back to when I taught in a bilingual program at an elementary school. I was the "push in" teacher (as opposed to a "pull out" teacher, one where the kids are pulled out of class.) I worked with most of the grades- "pushing in" those classes that had large numbers of LEP (Limited English Proficiency-aka ESL kids) Since I was in a "regular" classroom, I worked with all of the students. One of the classes that I worked with was a 2nd grade. One little girl, who was not an LEP learner, but she was a little behind the others, was named "Renaa" (not her real name, but pronounced Renee). She was shorter than the other kids and had short hair with that either just climbed out of bed or just rode a roller coaster look. She wore very thick glasses and was extremely pigeon toed, which gave her a rather clumsy gait. Very nice, sweet little girl. However, she came from this train wreck of a family. The father was a really wiry little man who also had that just got out of bed/has-just-been-camping grubby look, plus reeked of cigarettes. He was at school with the kids every day with his suspiciously young wife and their grubby, happy toddler. In addition to Renaa and grubby baby, they also had an older child, who was woefully overweight. And grubby. And looked like Ralph Wiggum on the Simpsons. The father also had a much, much older daughter who was in her mid 20's or so. Father was able to be at school every day because he did not work. He did not work, because he claimed there was no alarm clock loud enough to wake him up to go to work. He spent a lot of time leering at the younger, cleaner teachers. One of the other teachers saw him on the first day of summer vacation at the public swimming pool. In a Speedo. Their last name, which I won't give, was very uncomfortably close to "Klampet".

Ok, you've got some visuals, some background info. So, it's the beginning of 2nd grade, they've got spelling lists and words to practice. One of their assignments was to write one sentence for each spelling word- a total of 10. One of their words was "wish". So, there were lots of "I wish I could go to Disney World.", "I wish I had a gazillion dollars." "I wish I had my own room." kinds of sentences. Renaa's sentence for "wish"?

"I wish my dad would shut up."

sounds much better when read with exaggerated, hillbilly accent.

Yeah, we all wished he'd shut up, too, but we wished more that he'd bathe.

Hope everyone's school year is off to a good start.


Blogger Jess Riley said...

Ralph Wiggum. "I sleep in a drawer!"

hehehe. Gotta love those hillbillies. They make the rest of us look pretty sane and well-showered by comparison.

9/07/2006 11:55 AM  
Blogger Wendy Boucher said...

Love the Ralph Wiggum reference. I also love the wish. Very funny.

9/07/2006 4:27 PM  
Blogger happychyck said...

This entry has made me feel a little ill. It's just too real.

9/07/2006 11:21 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

That's a good activity, and the way in which you describe the family - any entry that references Ralph Wiggum is tops, in my book - is just darn good blogging. I WISH someone else would teach next week's class for me.

9/08/2006 2:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home