Teaching the Wild Things

Wednesday afternoon was worthless. A group of sixth graders was outside the library door, practicing a skit for their class. It was like a scene from Where the Wild Things Are. The wild rumpus began as soon as their teacher left to help another group. I stepped into the hall and said, “Be still!” I reminded them there were others around them working and to use their inside voices. The quiet lasted a total of 45 seconds before the rumpus gained steam again. To say the least, they were annoying me.

I was ready to roar my terrible roar, but instead, I used my teacher self-control and let it go. That’s when I picked up a book another teacher had given me to read. I know I should have been processing new library books, but at the time, 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny:  Life Lessons from Teaching written by Phillip Done looked like a much better choice. The very first line mentioned two of my favorite children’s books. With that, I was hooked.

The book pushed my calm down, enjoy, and laugh buttons. My foul mood dissipated as I read one funny passage after another. The book is about what students and teachers do and say. It’s a compilation of all the wacky and unexpected things that happen in the daily life of a school teacher.

So if you’ve ever heard these phrases from your students, “What did I do?” and “It’s not fair,” or if you’ve ever found yourself repeating, “Keep your hands to yourself” and “Eyes and ears open,” this book is for you. It will tickle your funny bone and warm your heart. It will make you realize how worthwhile your teaching career is – even on those occasional bad days.

“Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task.” ~Haim G. Ginott

Hug a teacher today!

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