It is back to school time. Brook @ Red Head Revelries sent her baby to Kindergarten this week. Naturally, the week has been filled with highs and lows. Yesterday she posted a list of quotes from the first week of school which made me laugh and get a little teary. It also brought to mind some long forgotten Kindergarten quotes.
A lifetime ago I taught Kindergarteners. I entered teaching an idealist knowing I would not have favorites, but then the kids showed up. It didn’t take long to realize that part of the human condition is that we attach with some people on a deeper level than others. So, my new goal became to conduct my classroom in a manner that was so fair that no one could deduce my favorites. And since there is something to love in every child, I think that I did pretty well at reaching that goal. Still, there was one little guy named Christopher who stole my heart. My favorite quotes from my year in Kindergarten are both from him.
We had been talking about artists and masterpieces; to close out the unit we painted our own great works. When Christopher’s was done we analyzed it together. He explained what he was going for in his piece, and I asked him what he had named it. ”Named it?” he asked, and I explained that the great artists named their works. A look of confusion filled his face and he tipped his head to one side thinking deeply. Finally, he announced, “Well, OK. I guess I ‘ll call him Rick.”
Christmas rolled around and I decided to have Santa visit our Christmas party. I rented a suit and conned my twenty-four year old, super thin husband into playing the jolly old elf. He had been involved in several things with the class by this point and knew the kids well enough to pull off the “sees you when you’re bad or good” part if not the physical look of the big guy.
The magic moment arrived. Santa himself filled the doorway to the classroom. Well, he didn’t really fill it so much as he was standing there in the doorway. The class went silent, the kids looking at him in wonder. Santa let loose with a hearty Ho Ho Ho. As the other kids gathered round Santa in welcome, Christopher sidled up to me and whispered, “What are we gonna do if the real Santa shows up while Bill’s here?”