“That don’t look like writing, that looks like chicken scratch!”

Tales from the Classroom
Tales from the Classroom

Tales from the Classroom

The truth is that when a teacher walks into a classroom they have already decided to love and respect every child that walks through their classroom door.  They plan lessons based on the likes and dislikes of each student.  They make it a point to remember that every student is treated equally according to their needs.  By the end of the school year, a teacher’s deepest desire is that they have made a real difference in the child’s life.  They want to know that the student will always remember the good times that were shared and the struggles that were overcome in their classroom.

For a primary teacher, specifically a kindergarten teacher, this never happens.  As it turns out, their life was set up so that they don’t remember most things that far back!  Think about it, what do you remember about kindergarten?  All primary teachers are remembered for is the look they kept on their face and the way they made the students feel.  All it takes for a teacher to be remembered as a bad teacher is one single remark!  That is a humbling thought!

I’m always so proud to show the students all they have learned in my classroom for that year.  You know, at least for now they will see how far they have come, even if they don’t remember it later!  I’ll never forget trying  to brag on my students when one specific little boy was adamant, “Teacher, you never teached me nuttin’!  I already knowed how to wead when I come to Kindergarten!”  I COULD NOT convince the child any differently.  Then, the other students began to chime in that they already knew how to read and count too.  I was terribly disappointed that they didn’t remember!  But, like always, I learned my lesson!  Every year now, on the first day of school, I give my students a blank sheet of paper.  I tell them to write a sentence, or a letter, or whatever they can write on the sheet of paper.  If they can’t write, they can draw!  On the back, I ask them to write any number they know.  I write their name and date at the top and save it until the last week of school.

This year I began to brag on all that my students had learned and as you guessed they tried to say they came to my class knowing everything.  Smiling, I went and pulled out the pieces of paper they had written on the first day of school.  Each child got to see their own work in front of the class.  They began to chuckle and slap their hands.  A little girl said, “That don’t look like writing. That looks like chicken scratch!”  Yes! That day we celebrated all of their accomplishments for the year!