Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Mom's The Teacher

Well the twins have been bugging their teacher to please, "be absent so our mom can be the substitute teacher." She complied today, and I have just finished 7 exhausting hours of trying to keep 30 eight year olds quiet, involved, on task...

I bow to school teachers everywhere.

Thing is, all of the children are good. Really, how can an eight year old be evil? But combine them in groups of over...say...10, and you will find it impossible to have all of them facing forward at the same time. So explaining an assignment becomes an exercise in thespianism. Face animated, voice clear and bold, wide, sweeping hand gestures...

When the boy twin sidled up to me with furtive glances left and right, I bent my head to hear his secret.

"Mom. You're talking different."

"What? Is it bad? Do I sound mean?"

"No, you just don't sound like you do when we're at home."

He slipped back to his seat, and left me pondering my transformation.
See I'm a good sub. The children usually love me. I waltz in and Mary Poppins my way through a day, leaving admiring little girls and boys behind every single time. And so far, when the twins and the middle child have seen me in the hallways, they have grinned proudly at me and boasted to their classmates that I am their mom. I thought today would be the pinnacle of my elevation in their eyes!

But later, alarmingly, the girl twin lowered her brow at me and said,

"Mom. You're acting weird."

I was crestfallen! Me, weird? Yes, I might be a little strange, a little surprising -- a little out of the ordinary as far as substitutes go...but that's what makes me interesting to the children! I can say the alphabet backwards! I can do foreign accents! Heck, I can SING!

Okay yeah I can see the problem.

Thing is, I usually don't lose my coolness factor until they get to be around twelve. Here I have accomplished it in one day of 3rd grade.

Oh well.
Tonight both of them re-emphasized that I should just act the same at school as at home. I said maybe nobody would hear me if I spoke that softly.

And then I realized what a good thing it was,
that the mom they know at home,
is the one they want.


cjs said...

they are lucky, those children of yours. quite lucky.

guess what book I just checked out from the library?


Momma played Bass.... said...

I can't believe you subbed in their class...you are SO brave! Of course, I think you're brave for subbing at all.

My first grader won't hold my hand when I take him into his class (which is rare....we usually just drop him at the door of the building). a FIRST GRADER!

But my 7th grader will still kiss me in front of her friends.

And my 5th grader tells her friends that her Mom is cool and her friends agree.

So there's hope.

Kulio said...


and cjs, WHAT BOOK? I feel completely dense....

kool kenna said...

hey you sound like a great sub, how 'bout takin place of my homeroom teacher for a week?

riahbell said...

I wish you were a sub for me!!!!!
I love you!

cjs said...

pilgrim at tinker creek

MsLo said...

Will you sub for my highschoolers?

Michelle said...

Been reading Anne Lamott this week. I don't know how to thank you enough. Wow.


Kulio said...

And I just finished Eleanor Rigby!! Just two minutes ago!
Now I have to read everything that he has written!
Thank YOU.