For realsies

Thank You For Not Gluing October 25, 2012

When I was in grad school, pursuing my teaching certification as a “non-traditional” student, there was this one woman in my classes who was also “non-traditional.”  She was kind of wishy-washy, in addition to being very nice.  I think that she used to work in the entertainment industry with something having to do with cameras.  Yeah, that career.  I am not sure if she left it to have kids, or if they moved, or what.  I was working full-time, had a teenager and a toddler, and had worked for quite some time with kids with Emotional/Behavioral disorders.  Or whatever is PC at any given time.  The angry whack jobs. I had a different perspective from my classmate. Let’s call her Wynonna.

When we had to design a “Literacy Center,” Wynonna went ape-shit with the Michaels craft-o-rama, and the hot glue gun.  I have no recollection of what she was trying to teach using this center, but I vividly remember that the display included a mini-picket fence, and a bunch of other miniature, doll-house size items.  It was cute as hell, and earned Wynonna the disdain of everyone who had invested exactly $2 on one piece of poster board and one pack of index cards at the Dollar Store.

My perspective sprang from experiences that resulted in bruises. On me.  I have seen good guinea pigs fall at the hands of enraged 8-year-olds trashing a classroom.  And when I say fall, I mean, literally fall, within their crashing cages, and die.  One of the lessons I learned during my first year of teaching in a combat zone was to view each and every item used for learning as a potential projectile.  I also learned that one does not give students any materials until the final nanosecond when they are expected to use said material, lest it similarly become a projectile or weapon of some sort.

As you can imagine, when I see a potential teacher break out the mini-zen garden rakes, my mind turns to visions of horrible facial injuries inflicted upon a student who makes the mistake of looking at a rake-wielding student  the wrong way.  Different strokes for different folks; this is just the scenario that pops up for me.

I don’t know whether Wynonna ever got a teaching job.  Maybe, at some district where they needed an extra mild-mannered first grade teacher, and where all the children know things like their name when they enter kindergarten. I hope not, though.  Not because I harbor any animosity toward Wynonna–although, COME ON with the potpourri manipulatives for the five senses lesson.

I hope that Wynonna hasn’t had to wind up where we are now.  I knew how crazy classrooms could be when I went for it.  But there was no way that I could have predicted how crazy the educational system was going to become.  How a willingness to teach urban, at-risk kids would become a liability and a place where numbers are the only thing that matters. Wynonna would have folded like a house of cards.  I want to fold like a house of cards.  Wait, cards could be a weapon. Guess I’ll have to stick it out.


6 Responses to “Thank You For Not Gluing”

  1. rebecca2000 Says:

    LOL See I would just use the zen rake for a back scratcher and I am sure my classroom would be like Lord of the Flies. I ever tell you I abhor glue guns and dioramas? I will pm you a link to a video I made when I got scars on my hand from glue.


  2. why am I here in a handbasket? Says:

    be safe. They can twist and glue those cards into a sharp object.

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