First Grade

I loved my kindergarten teacher. Her name was Mrs. Dowdy. I think everyone remembers his or her first teacher. I don’t think I understood what crushes were back then, maybe I did, but whatever it was the emotion is very similar to what I would call a crush. I had to start school at an earlier age than most because my birthday fell so late in the year, October 6th.  I don’t remember ever NOT liking school or wanting to be anywhere else even at that young an age.

Today I had my first 1st grade class. They are little. When I say little, I mean little!  Part of me thinks too young to be starting school. On average, they were five years old.  I doubt they can even write their names (or anything) in Georgian. But they say, the younger you began a language, the better. So these little tykes are going to learn!

We started off with them standing to say present when their names were called. Most were very eager to do this. Some seemed bewildered like they were all of a sudden placed on a distant planet and didn’t want to make any sudden movements for fear of being eaten.

After this, we tried to get them to say their names, “I am ….”, when asked, “What—IS—YOUR—NAME?” (pointing to the student). Again, most picked up on it, while one in particular when asked, simply burst out in tears. I felt bad and awkward. But the rest of the class was just as bewildered. I think this show of emotion emboldened other girl to start crying unprovoked and walk out of class. Okay.

That’s when I found out that some parents (aware of their student’s disposition) stationed themselves outside the classroom door. The first student who cried eventually had enough and walked out too followed by the girl sitting behind him. When asked of the girl why she was leaving, she said she wanted to kiss her brother. Okay.

On with the lesson.

We next when over numbers up to ten. And then asked for a response, “I am (age)”, to the prompt, “HOW—OLD—ARE—YOU?”

Then to recapture their attentions, taught them to stand up and sit down, hands up and hands down.

They were as cute as teddy bears, but hard to keep their attention. One little guy couldn’t seem to get his stack of notebooks JUST right. And another group of students wanted to make sure their English books were still in their book bags… twenty times.

When we finished with that 45-minute class, the co-teacher and I both felt and looked like we had been a 6 round heavyweight fight.

Yesterday, I noticed that Nino wasn’t around. When I asked where she was, I found out she was at pre-school. Later in the day, I went with Lado to pick her up. It was right up the street, maybe four blocks. It was a pretty large facility. It seems everything in this country has facilities with much more space than they need. Nino was happy to see us, but would have been just as happy to stay. That’s my measure of a good daycare.

She has a habit, Lado says, of getting on and riding a hobbyhorse one last time before leaving.

“They call me ‘hell’
They call me ‘Stacey’
They call me ‘her’
They call me ‘Jane’
That’s not my name
That’s not my name
That’s not my name
That’s not my name”

That’s Not My Name, The Ting-Tings


One response to “First Grade

Holla atcha boy!

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