Why I Love Being a Teacher #2

This past week we have been deep in the fascinating world of long division.  This is an EXTREMELY difficult skill for most of my kids to master.  We spent every day last week simply dividing…over and over and over.  Eventually, they do get it, but the process is gibberish to them for a couple of days.

Thursday was an especially “fun” day.  I introduced the 3 digit dividend.  All of the progress we had made the past three days seemed to go out of the window and the kids were completely confused.  So, we practiced some more.

I picked one of my sweetest little boys to walk the class through a division problem.  He is a wonderful child that always does his homework, and is a very hard worker.  He sits near the white board, so I had a front row seat to watch as his little fingers worked their magic.  Many of my kids haven’t mastered their basic multiplication and division facts, so they are constantly counting with their fingers to figure out the answers.

As he’s working, the rest of the class is waiting and not really paying any attention to him.  I’m watching as his fingers finally stop moving.  He’s figured out the answer, and there’s only one finger left standing.  Unfortunately, it’s not the most appropriate finger to be left all alone.

I wasn’t going to say anything because I knew it was an accident.  But the look of sheer panic on his face as he realized he just flipped off his teacher, was priceless.  I couldn’t help it, I cracked up laughing.  Then, when he saw that he wasn’t in trouble, he started laughing uncontrollably.

The class had no clue what had just happened.  All they knew was their teacher and one of the students were giggling.  Then before I knew it, my entire classroom had erupted in laughter.  This poor little boy was laughing so hard, he wasn’t making any noise and was about to literally fall out of his chair.  Which, of course, made me laugh even more, to the point where I had tears rolling down my face.   My mascara had run down my cheek, which made the noise from my room even louder.  Even as I write this, I’m remembering his face and chuckling to myself.

This was one of the moments I will probably remember for the rest of my life.  We spend so much of our time worried about benchmark tests and mastering skills that we forget that these children are just children.  It felt good to share a funny moment with my kids and spend a couple of minutes just laughing as children laugh.


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