I sure like to think I am! I assumed Rachel's fifth grade teacher was, for sure, but today for the first time I had to wonder. Wait. Did I just insult Rachel's teacher?
Let me explain. In North Carolina students are required to take an End of Grade (EOG) test in order to be promoted to the next grade. A minimum score of 3 (out of a possible 4) on the test is required for promotion. The school tries not to make the whole test thing stressful, but there's a lot at stake and everyone knows it. In a genuine effort to get the kids excited for the test and challenge them to do their best, the teacher made a bet with the kids: If they all passed all of the tests he would dye his (dark brown!) hair blond.
The testing week came and went and lo and behold, every single kid passed.
I volunteered to come into the classroom and help him with his dye job. After all, I've been covering my gray hair since I was 23! I am like the queen of hair color.
Turns out a couple things could, hypothetically, go wrong...
Time management was the first problem. It takes a lot longer to turn yourself into a blond than it does to cover gray. I figured it would need to sit for 45 minutes... After 70 minutes we still had a very brassy-blond-look working. As a result, I needed to take the kids to technology and then take them to recess. I got them to technology without incident. Getting them to recess is where the problems started.
When I arrived at technology the kids were expecting their newly blond teacher, and it nearly started a riot when they got me instead. I settled the situation and we were half-way outside when one of the kids asked for a soccer ball. When I said I didn't have one with me, he quickly offered to run upstairs to the classroom and get one. HA! I did not just fall off the turnip truck, kids. Sensing a ploy to get upstairs and check on the teacher I sent them outside and went to fetch the ball myself.
You have to get up pretty early in the morning to outfox KathyB!
I hustled up to the classroom and asked the teacher for a ball. I was vindicated when he told me there were no balls in the classroom. I grinned in victory knowing that I had thwarted their sneaky plan. Except when I got back down to the playground I discovered that the child who had asked for the ball had subsequently taken another student's shoe (the acquisition of said shoe is a different story completely) and thrown it up onto the roof.
Seriously. Who does this stuff?!
The other adult on the playground told him to go and find his teacher. Ack. Iwould not have seen that one coming from a mile. I intercepted him again before he could get into the building and told him to have a seat outside. I watched to make sure he listened this time.
I wasn't congratulating myself on outsmarting the kids any longer. Someone definitely was bamboozled here. I'm pretty sure it wasn't the kids. Fortunately, the teacher arrived on the scene and saved me from further bad decision making. What did he do after arriving on the scene? He proceeded to play soccer with the kids. In 97 degree heat.
In two hours those monkeys had me running all over the school thinking I was in control. He, on the other hand, successfully led a class full of kids to success , maintained control (clearly that's harder than it looks) and had a blast with the kids along the way. Is he smarter than a fifth grader?
In my book he's brilliant.
And to the teachers who may read this post? Thank you.