I volunteer occasionally at my children’s art class at school.
It’s a nice way to interact with the kids and put in some volunteering time painlessly.
This week when I arrived for to help Sam’s kindergarten class, I was introduced by the art teacher to her new student teacher.
Right off the bat, she shook my hand and said “I feel so blessed to be able to be a student teacher here.”
I nodded and smiled. I thought that was a strange thing for a college student to say to a parent. After thinking about it for a while I realized that this generation of individuals are the first to grow up with a heavy dose of social media.
Maybe they have seen people my age talk about being “blessed” so much – that she thinks that’s how we talk??!!! Her exposure to people my age is probably mostly on Facebook, and research would show that the probably most used phrase would be “I’m blessed.”
So she gathers the children on the rug to read them a book. The book is about the artist Grandma Moses. The book is probably meant for a middle schooler. There are little to no pictures. She is droning on and on about Grandma Moses’ life.
I look around the rug at the 5-year-olds. They are snapping. They are whispering in each other’s ears. Some have crawled away and are hiding under the tables.
She keeps reading. I am not a teacher – but this seems like a bad idea.
When things are almost completely at riot-level, she decides to take out a poster of one of Grandma Moses’ paintings.
The kids pay attention for a minute.
She asks the group “What do you see in this picture?”
A little girl’s hand shoots up, she is up on her knees waving for the teacher’s attention.
The student teacher calls on her, “Yes, what do you see?” she asks with a smile.
The little girl speaks slowly and deliberately, “I see…9 babies.”
“Okay,” the student teacher responded slowly (completely disregarding that the answer was 100 percent wrong.)
“How about anything else? Does anyone see anything else besides 9 babies?”
The children seemed encouraged by the acceptance of wrong answers and several hands shot up.
“OH! I know!!” one little boy said with his hand up.
“Yes?” the student teacher said expectantly.
He spoke while seriously focusing on the picture.
“I see….90 people.”
At this point the art teacher decided to interrupt what was shaping up to be the worst art lesson in the history of teaching.
“Children, there are not 90 people in the picture…what else do you see?” she asked.
The same little boy who had seen 90 people raised his hand again.
“Yes?” the student teacher asked.
“I meant to say I see 100 people.” he said matter-of-factly.
At this point the teacher decided to point out the trees and buildings.
She also started to speak about the point where the sky met the ground. She told the children that it was called a horizon.
The art teacher jumped in. She mentioned that the class had learned about horizontal lines the week before and that maybe if the student teacher wrote on the board the words “horizontal” and “horizon” then the kids would notice something.
And this was my favorite part of the lesson.
Better than the teacher talking in Facebook status updates.
Better than children saying they see 100 people in a picture of 3 people.
The student teacher went to the board and wrote the letter “h.”
She then turned to the art teacher and said, “How do you spell ‘horizon’?”
I took this as my cue to head home and participate in something worthwhile like
cleaning the house, making dinner, waxing my moustache, reading US Weekly pretty much anything else besides being in that classroom.
PLEASE – PLEASE VOTE FOR ME ON THE BANNER BELOW – I AM NOW #81-!!!! BEHIND 80 PEOPLE THAT ARE NOWHERE NEAR AS FUNNY AS ME….I’M JUST SAYIN…..IT’S AN INJUSTICE