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Friday, June 19, 2009

Are you smarter than a fifth grader?!

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.

What could go wrong?


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.

*******
While we were sitting in the classroom (and I was saying silent prayers that his hair would pass the pumpkin-orange stage) I asked him why he would make such a rash bet with the kids. Why didn't he just offer to buy donuts? He told me he didn't really think about it... He wanted to get the kids pumped up. He wanted them motivated to realize their full potential.
But is this teacher smarter than a fifth grader? I mean, he did dye his hair blond...


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.

For everything.

46 comments:

Ryan and Michelle Wagner said...

Who-hoo!! I am the first to comment on today's post! ;) Just wanted to say how much I love this lady and that I am darn PROUD to call her my Aunt! Muah!! Yeah, I am actually related to this brillant woman, and her precious family are just that...precious. Love you guys!

Kristina P. said...

I love it! Great job. Glad his hair didn't fall out.

TKW said...

Three cheers for Kathy B.! I love this post!

Yaya said...

That is awesome!! I wish my teacher would have done something like that when I was a kid! I would remember it my whole life.

insider53 said...

He also didn't hesitate or back out. I won't say he looks good with the blond hair but he deserves to wear it with pride, he earned it. I'm know the kids respect him a lot for keeping his word.

Pop and Ice said...

Wow! That is an amazing teacher and your child had the luck of the draw! I'm also glad the dye job finally succeeded. He's a cute blond!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

So glad to see your prayers were answered and he did pass the pumpkin orange stage...I'll bet you were relieved, too! ;) Like Yaya said, if any of my teachers had ever done that, I would have remembered it (and the teacher) for the rest of my life. Yep, he is a cool teacher! :) And that was too funny that 5th grader tried to outsmart you...did the shoe ever get retrieved off the roof? ;)

K said...

What a fun teacher!

Excellent work.

countryfriedmama said...

He looks kind of punk. You might have helped this wonderful teacher find a whole new side of himself.

ck said...

I love when you say, "What could go wrong?" A very promising statement on The World According to Me.

D said...

I can't believe you dyed his hair IN school. That's awesome. All around, just awesome!

Tina said...

What a great guy, and how fun for the kids!

And I've learned to never, ever, EVER say or even think the phrase, what could go wrong? As soon as you do, it's a sure sign that everything will!

sanewithoutdrugs said...

OH YOU CAN SEE NOW HOW BAD WE HAVE IT!!!

OH MY!!!

When little shit like this happens (shoe on roof), you would not believe the smack that we get from the parental units!!! We should have every parent watch recess for at least 30 minutes before they are allowed to complain.

... and the blond is fabulous!!! Great work.

Tsquared417 said...

This is awesome! What a great teacher...and as a teacher myself, I appreciate when parents appreciate their teachers!! He looks adorable as a blond!

Gibby said...

How cool is that? Those kids are lucky to have such a great teacher. And man, you are BRAVE to dye his hair with younger daughters possibly coming through his class! LOL!

Lindy said...

I must say - you did an awesome dye job. He doesn't look half bad.

To this day, I remember my 4th grade teacher - when you have a good one, it's hard to let them go!

Meg said...

Wow. He's way cooler than my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Maloney. He picked his nose and stuck it behind his ear.

Suzy said...

You are SO coming to L.A. to do my hair. That's hard, brown to blond. I'm a blond and have trouble going from ash to pale.

If I had to pass the EOG I'd still be in first grade.

Grant said...

Do you have a secret blog, one that your coworkers do not know about, wherein you tell the real truth? Such as "I work with morons - nobody here is half as smart as me!"?

Young Mom/Wife said...

That is pretty awesome. And I am so glad that everyone in his class passed the end of grade exam. =)

Oh yeah, and you need some major props for dying his hair, and controlling those kids for the afternoon!

zelzee said...

What a wonderful teacher!!

(How many kids now want blonde hair?)

Isn't it amazing how those teachers keep things under control? At least you tried!

the ungourmet said...

What a good sport!

I used to be able to get a nice shade of blonde back in high school but now when I try I get that lovely carrot top look too! What is up with my hair. It must be old!

Paging Doctor Mommy said...

Take it from a now blonde pro... if his hair is still a little to yellow or orange, go buy some SHIMMER LIGHTS shampoo. It's a really dark dark purple shampoo that takes the brass (or pumpkin!) hues out of blondes!

My parents are both teachers, and hearing their horror stories at the end of the day (and of course seeing their pay checks at the end of the month that by NO MEANS made up for what they put up with) I knew that I could never be a teacher! God Bless those who are!

Nicole said...

Well I'm a future teacher, if that counts... starting after three more semesters!

And I will never make a bet involving the coloring of my hair lol.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Do you make house calls?

Susie said...

I love teachers who are THAT dedicated!

Michele said...

Thanks for the comment! I enjoyed this post, but refrained from commenting the first time since I didn't have anything original to say. He doesn't look bad at all as a blond! Too bad it will be gone by the time school rolls around again!

I put one more picture on the blog to show what we tried to keep the chippies out. Hope it works!

And I don't know what kind of computer you have, but this is a fairly new laptop - I can only add 1 video or 5 photos at a time. The photos take about 2 minutes, the video can take up to 5 (because it has to process after it uploads). I usually walk away and do something while I'm waiting.

Have a wonderful weekend!

JoeinVegas said...

Looks like you did a good job, but how did he talk you into taking care of his class? Next time do the coloring after school.

peewee said...

Hey! Can u come dye MY grey hair?

Michel said...

That guy sounds awesome! Did you mention that even once he tries to dye it back, the blonde will bleed through?

No biggidy

faemom said...

Well, at least he didn't say he'll dye his hair blue or green because God knows that's what I'd say. He's an awesome teacher, and you're an awesome parent for helping out like that.

WhisperingWriter said...

Okay, that is so cool!

I need someone to dye my gray roots. Help!

Helene said...

What an awesome teacher!!!!! You did a fantastic job on his hair!!

BTW, I love that in your area the kids have to pass a test in order to be promoted!! So many kids slip under the radar these days!

Zeemaid said...

great job on the hair! those kids sure are sneaky... and yes.. great teachers are hard to come by but easily recognizable when you do see them.

what a great teacher!

LadyFi said...

Just goes to show that blondes have more fun - and are smart too!

Great post.

Debbie said...

That is great. But you also deserve a huge round of applause for all you do to support those school!

Sturgmom said...

You did a great job on the hair dye! Sounds like your daughter was fortunate to have such a dedicated teacher! WTG!

Oh, and note to KathyB: NEVER leave a classroom of children ALONE and AT RECESS. ;)

♥ Braja said...

I love it ;)

Jen said...

Win some, you loose some. I guess. ;)

Sandy said...

I think the dyejob came out great!

for a different kind of girl said...

The blonde seems to work for him! Far, far braver than I'd ever be...which explains why my hair is in dire need of a color job!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

What a fabulous teacher...you should be so lucky and especially coming from NC!! Obviously, he's got a lot on the ball!

smitty13 said...

KathyB! Your teacher may be brilliant, but I think you are too.

Bee and Rose said...

What a fantastic guy! I loved this post!

thedomesticfringe said...

Now that's a great teacher!!!

Awesome story.
-FringeGirl

msprimadonna67 said...

Way to intercept those kids--they can be quite wily when they get their minds set on something!