A Glimpse into the Morning of a 4th Grade Teacher

Last week, my 4th graders and I reviewed possessive nouns, and I gave them a worksheet so they could get some individual practice.

“Work quietly,” I instructed, “and ask from your seat if you have a question. I can talk you through it, and our interaction might help someone else with the same or a similar question.  I have a LOT to do, so I’ll be grading papers while you work.”

I knew it wouldn’t work.  They are a chatty class.  Telling them to work quietly has proven futile, but I still try.  God help me, I still try.

I had about 25 seconds of blessed silence when I heard this from one of the girls:

“WHEATZIE!  Quit eating and GRADE PAPERS!  You said you had a lot to do!  And GET OFF YOUR PHONE, TOO!”

FIRST OF ALL, I had been up since my usual 5:15 AM and I’m not a big breakfast person, so around 8:30, I start to get a little hungry. EXCUSE ME for nibbling on the APPLE that I had packed.  And SECONDLY—

“I’ll have you know that I’m TEXTING A PARENT, thank you very much!” I told her.  “PROBABLY about something I’ve already told you kids and you weren’t listening.  And also,” I added, “I haven’t had my coffee OR my blood pressure meds yet so you might want to WATCH YOUR TONE.”

There was an audible gasp from the class. 

“Wait,” one of the boys said.  Any coffee?”

I rolled my eyes.  “Don’t be ridiculous,” I said, biting into my apple.  “I had two cups at home. I’m talking school coffee.”

The kids nodded their heads in understanding. I have a Keurig in my classroom and multiple “All I Need Is Jesus and Coffee” type signs that have been given to me as presents from students over the years dotting the room. It’s a passion for me; some might even call it a lifestyle. Coffee and Wheatzie go hand in hand.

The kids quieted for a few moments, bending their heads over the work on their desks, pencils moving.  Then one of the boys held up a piece of paper to show me what most certainly was NOT the possessives worksheet he was supposed to be working on.

“I’m writing a comic about a squirrel and a lion,” he explained, pointing to some of his illustrations.  “I’m doing a scene about their pets.”

“Oh,” I said, truly interested as he is a great artist.  “Are they a couple?”

“GROSS!” one of the kids exclaimed.

“It’s a SQUIRREL and a LION!!” another yelled in disgust.  “What is WRONG with you?!”

Then the first girl, the one who had originally broken the silence, piped up again.  She dropped her pencil, flopped her head into both of her hands, and said, exasperation loud and clear in her voice, “Please make your coffee.”

It was the first logical thing I’d heard all morning.


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