Throughout the summer, teachers have flashbacks of what happened the previous year. A multitude of lessons are planned in the ten month period. However, they often lead in a totally unexpected direction than planned because of reasons out of our control.
Believe it or not, we are constantly evaluating ourselves by brainstorming ways to improve our teaching methods for the next year. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that sometimes the students are actually better than we are at impressing visitors by teaching an impromptu lesson! Might I add that this ALWAYS happens when we are being observed by our superior… you know … when WE are supposed to be in control!
Suddenly giggling, I recall a few years ago when the superintendent came to visit our classroom along with other staff members from The Knox County Board Office. I was proud that my lesson was going so well at first. I had read a book to the students and asked them to write their favorite part of the story so I could check for comprehension.
All of a sudden, a feisty little red headed girl decided she didn’t want to write about the book. She wanted to teach our visitors what she had learned weeks ago about the water cycle! I tried to stop her, but she had the ocean and mountains drawn before I could get back across the room! She continued, “Let me show you this!” Eventually, she had the whole class singing…. Evaporation, Condensation, Precipitation, Ground Water, Ground Water! I would have definitely stopped her before then, but the superintendent chuckled and held up his hand to stop me! He congratulated her on the lesson and ended up giving her a dollar for a job well done! That day, I was taught that students who are excited about what they’ve learned will happily store the information in their memory and take over the class for you as needed!
One of the last things a student taught me this past school year is that they don’t want to be caught playing hooky! We were lined up in the hall for restroom break when a little fella looked up at me with those sad puppy dog eyes and moaned, “Mrs. Bargo, you know why I wasn’t at school Friday?” I asked, “No, why?” “We certainly missed you!” His lip dropped and he said, “my papaw died.” I shrieked, “Your papaw died?” I looked at my aide and said, “I’ll have to call his momma! I’m sure she thinks I’m awful! I didn’t even know to go visit her!” Back in the classroom, I messaged his momma to apologize for not knowing that her father had passed away. She sighed and said, “It’s that Imagination Station again! My father is fine! Again, lesson learned!