Thursday, April 8, 2010

Conquer Second Grade: Check!

You know what? I could totally teach second grade. Yes, I would probably be bald at the end of the first week from tearing my hair out, and by the end of the second week I'd be dead, but today, for 45 minutes, I did an art project with a room of second graders BY MYSELF.

I'm still kind of stunned.

I told you about the class auction project, and about how I don't really have an artsy bone in my body, but what I didn't tell you was that I worked in Leila's preschool once a week for three years and when the job rotation landed me in the Art Room, I would do almost anything, wash the dishes, do a rain walk, mow the lawn with my teeth, FILL THE BRITTA, to avoid doing art with preschoolers. They make an ungodly mess. There is glue, glitter, crayons, more paint on the floor then on the paper, and then there's the home-made playdough, and add to all of that that the art room also had a door to the outside and a half bathroom, so mixed with all the paint and glitter and playdough and glue was sand and toilet paper and probably a little pee, and since they're preschoolers you know there's snot or boogers on the floor, too. I hated that room. I had nightmares about it. It gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.

Also, I'm not a natural at working with little kids. Surprising, I know, since I'm a patient angel all the time. I think I can have a good rapport with little kids, but when they stop being cute and start being loud or messy or snotty, I just want to run. Thank God I have a kid who is quiet and compliant and lovely, otherwise I'd be in big trouble.

When Leila was two and a half or so we went to someone's house for a play group where she could play and frolic with other two and half year-olds and one of those little effers was mean to her; pushed her or something. A completely reasonable behavior for a toddler, but when you see your kid get shoved, your mother-instincts make you want to mow that other kid down with your minivan. So, about fifteen minutes later, I'm in the garage of this house where the uber-mom has set up an art room (yes, my nemesis, THE ART ROOM) and the kids have completely moved on from the shoving incident or whatever it was, and the little bitch, I mean little girl who shoved my kid looks up at me with some tube of paint or whatever and says, sweet as you please, Could you open this for me? and I look at her with disdain, like she voted for Giuliani or something and I'm all, NO. It took me a beat to realize I was being a complete jerk, so I opened the thing and decided to go in the other room and calm down with a juice box.

Which brings me back to the auction project.

I was awesome. The teacher was grading papers, and I helped 17 kids do 28 panels for the project that we're doing for the auction. The kids were even awesomer than me. They had eagle-eye focus, and were totally into the importance of the project. I even heard my own daughter say to a classmate, We have to do our best, the whole school is counting on us. Not entirely true, but I liked her verve.

So, anyway, that's it. It was good. Turns out second graders are slightly more mature than preschoolers, and way less snotty.

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