Stories and thoughts about family and life

Those who can, teach

on May 21, 2012

When I think back to the things I wanted to do in school, teaching was never one of them.  No offense to my friends who are teachers–I’m so very grateful for dedicated people like you.  It’s just not for me.  I’m a good trainer–of adults.  I was the one who was usually chosen to lead training classes because I could come up with unique scenarios and challenge the class to use the entire knowledge base (software, documentation, etc.).  Kids, not so much.

As my own children have been in some trouble as of late, I have developed a “curriculum” of sorts to keep them busy throughout the day.  I have a whole new appreciation for having a classroom full of inattentive, irritatingly bored children.  I have found some unique assignments, but have found myself several times engrossed in my work, only to have the feeling that someone is watching me.  When I turn around, one (if not both) child is staring at me, or even worse–THROUGH me.  Countless “finish your work” or “why are you looking at me when you have an assignment to do?” remarks have been growingly exasperated from my point of view this afternoon.  Have they been “bad”?  No.  They’ve actually been pretty respectful and helpful when I’ve needed them to do something, such as putting away supplies this morning.  The assignments, on the other hand, not so much.

I resorted this afternoon to a new method, and found them some things on the computer we could do together.  There are remarkable things on the internet.  Lucas’ teacher had recommended “Khan Academy” which has some cool math lessons and problems to solve.  I also discovered this afternoon that there is a website called, which has brain teasers such as placing the states correctly on the map, or spelling a variety of words (Text Twist) and getting them thinking.  Still, I marvel at what teachers must do in their  classrooms all day.  I know you have lesson plans to follow (and you’re not trying to do another job at the same time), but still.  Finding unusual ways to reach the kids and get everyone on the same page is challenging at any rate, but add to it that I don’t really want them on the computer unsupervised (because they get busy playing), and you’ve really kicked it up a notch.

Today we wrote our alphabet, because both of them have terrible hand writing.  It took me three sets of explanation to get Brennan to do it, and when I did an example of three letters on a line to show him what I wanted, that’s exactly what he duplicated all the way down the page.    Then I gave them a list of 12 words and asked for a short story.  Brennan’s was by-far the most imaginative, and entertaining.  Lucas’ was very matter-of-fact for the first couple of paragraphs, and then a little more whimsical as he progressed and was running out of time.

Then we did the states, and attempted capitals.  I think tomorrow we’ll work on our multiplication tables.  Type A Mom was never really good at math, so we’ll probably stop short of algebra, but I think the rest I can handle.  Hmmm. . .  maybe I’ll teach them to diagram sentences.  That was always one of my favorite things in school.  Is that going too far?  🙂


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