i heart teaching: reason #1

on monday i picked up my students from gym.
leading them back to the classroom, i turned around and glanced back.. .
one of my boys who was in the front_ beads of sweat dripping down his face.

"what's going on? did you take a shower in there? "
{by november, they have adjusted to my sarcasm and quite enjoy a good banter every now and again }

he laughs at me, a smile pops across his glistening face.
"no, i always sweat like this.."
and with disbelief in his voice,
"And my dad won't even let me wear deodorant?!?!?"

to which i reply, as i waft air from him toward me
[ totally inappropriate teacher that i am ]
"you aren't stinky!"

"yehhh- i am!"

by this point, I realize he doesn't really understand the true purpose of deodorant and thinks of it more as a cool accessory."No -- like REALLY stinky - just because you're sweating, it doesn't mean you are STINKY. kids who are 3 and 4 may be sweating like you are, but they aren't going to wear deodorant!"

he just starts laughing again at me.. "they're too little."

"yeh-- that's what my dad says -- for when i'm older"..

"Yes, you've got a bit to go."

i love knowing them now. as their little selves. untouched and not tainted by the world just yet.

there's an advertisement i found years ago, when i was still teaching second grade --- since then i've moved up to the 'big kids' in fourth. it sits framed on the back window in my classroom -
..if this isn't spot on.. i don't know what else is.

When you cried during It's a Wonderful Life,
Part of you knew you were onto something.
There was a time when you knew, really knew
that chaining up a dog was mean and no adult could tell you otherwise.
We begin with our compass dead center,
but slowly we stop trusting it
and it gets off track.
We can fix it.
This isn't about liberating dogs or crying at movies,
it is about putting your heart where it belongs,
being the person you know you were meant to be,
the one you probably were in the 3rd grade.

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