December 14, 2009
Tortoises and trepidations
My new job is pretty fun. Preschoolers are awesome fun in general, but when you get to work with them every day, you get to really bond with them. The teacher I am an assistant to is a hoot. She is from England, so everything is said with that English accent and sounds more interesting somehow. She has me doing the craft project in the mornings usually, which I don't mind, except for the burnt hot glue fingertips, paint stains on my hands and arms and more brain power than I usually have in figuring out how to do the craft efficiently!
One day last week, she gave me styrofoam rings, all kinds of plastic leaves and red flowers with plastic coated wire stems, little drums, pine cones, ribbons and garlands. She told me to have the children make Christmas wreaths. I said, "Okay, and how are they supposed to attach all of this to the styrofoam?" With a twinkle in her eye, she said, "I don't know! That's your problem!"
You see how it goes. But I follow orders and try to put in my 3 hours a day enthusiastically. I found out on Friday though, that I do have a breaking point.
Our school principal brought her desert tortoise to school on Friday. When she got it, it fit in the palm of her hand. Five years later, it is somewhere close to 35 pounds. It was carried to our classroom by an assisting teacher whose class was at PE. So our teacher had all the children sit on the floor in a circle and the tortoise was put in the middle of the circle and walked around inspecting the children and munching pieces of apple she had for it. The principal told us all about the tortoise and it's personality and habits and care. Meanwhile, the teacher who had carried the tortoise had to leave to get her class to another place. And after a while the principal said she had to get back to the office, but she didn't know when that teacher would be back to carry it for her. (she had a bad arm and was not supposed to carry heavy things) So MY teacher, without so much as glancing at me, says, "OH, Mrs. L will carry it for you!"
My eyes bugged out and I felt like I was choking and a huge "NO" came out of my mouth. Eh heh heh, embarrassing! She looked at me kind of amused and said, "Why NOT, Mrs. L?" I just mouthed the words I'M SCARED OF IT and of course the children read my lips and were then amused too.
I was saved in the end because the other teacher came in (in the NICK of time!) to carry the dreadful thing back.
I'm sure I'll hear about this again some day, but for now I'm just laughing at myself and a little trepidacious about other 'visitors' this teacher may have during the coming semester. (there is a chinchilla in the room in a cage, but she only lets the kids play with it in the afternoons when I'm not there....this is good because it looks like a very large mouse.