Friday, May 4, 2012

getting out of my routine

Sometimes we all get stuck in a rut. Things become habit. And we get bored.

Well that wasn't my Friday at all. It was a typical start to the day - out of bed, shower, coffee, and drive. I'm in the planning process for a presentation in a few weeks and went to discuss things with my friend Robin. She has some great information from a recent conference, and I'm all about using the resources available. And from 8:00-9:00, she was available. We bounced around some ideas, discussed a few things, and she agreed to help me do some research. I was just leaving when the secretary called on the intercom telling me to call my principal. Today we had the baseball team headed to regional tournament, and the softball was hosting regional tournaments. Because we were short-handed, he asked me if I could do elementary P.E. for the softball coach. It was only two classes.

I've raised two children. I have several nieces and nephews. I normally teach seventh grade. I coached jr. and sr. high cheer for several years. One year I taught a fitness class. I knew that this was something I could do. Apparently, my principal wasn't so sure because the last thing he said to me was, "And Mercer, please don't let any little kids get hurt." That just made me laugh.

I went to get 4th grade first. I teased them about being in elementary and having to walk every where in a straight - that's one of the things my seventh graders are always so happy to leave behind. I told them that we would have to walk in a straight line with me as the leader, and then we played follow the leader from the outside of their building to the P.E. area - there was nothing straight about. We circled almost every pole we passed. Everyone was dizzy when we got to our destination - and I was already a sweaty, stinky mess.

Almost immediately there was a "face plant" that I thought might be an injury - but the boy bounced right up. We were locked out of the building, so the kids chose to just play outside on the playground. There was a very competitive kickball game going on in minutes. Soon the younger kids came out for recess.

It didn't take long for someone to come limping up. It was a kindergartner; he had fallen and skinned his knee. It wasn't a bad cut, but he sure thought is was. I wasn't sure if he was going to cry or not, so I tried to get his mind off the pain. He sat down, and I started asking him about it. I asked him if he wanted me to make it heal really fast. He said, "Yes, what are you going to do?" I told him that I was going to spit on it with my magic spit that would only burn a few minutes and then the cut would go away. After several minutes of me teasing him (without him crying at all), it dawned on me that I probably shouldn't be telling a kindergartner that I was going to spit on him, even if I was just kidding.

Can you imagine the conversations around the dinner table tonight? "Mom, I hurt my leg today and Mrs. Mer wanted to spit on me." or "My friend got hurt on the playground today, and Mrs. Mer spit on his leg." or "Mrs. Mer spit on a boy today at recess, and his leg starting bleeding." or "Mrs. Mer made a boy cry today. She cast a magic spell, spit in his eye, and now he can't walk."

I quickly told him that I was just teasing him and took his side when the duty teacher wanted to spray the burning medicine on it before she put on the bandaid. Just so you don't thing I'm evil - I asked him if his mom ever put a little spit on her thumb and wiped something off his face. He said yes, she had. I told him that she had magic spit, too - that all momma's had it. The duty teacher confessed that she, a mom, had magic spit too.

In the next class (another group of kindergarten), there were a few small boo-boos. Nothing major that required the nurse or a bandaid. But I never mentioned my magic spit even once.

And when that one little boy told the class he knew the "F" word and a little girl quickly whispered in his ear and he said, "Not that one - the real "F" word!" I didn't even laugh out loud. I just told him that I didn't need to hear any more about that.

Maybe routines aren't so bad. And my principal knows me pretty good - maybe that's why he made that last comment.

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