Friday, June 15, 2012

We Who are About to Die.......

The children are incredibly enthusiastic and excitable. After classes are finished, they work together on their journals, and during this time, they are supposed to be quiet and focused. However, the moment all is silent, a little head inevitably pops up like a gopher out of its hole. Someone will deliver a quote from Shrek that sends the rest of them into hysterics. Then a scuffle breaks out between two of the boys. Jane (the other teacher) and I smooth things out. Silence returns, then another gopher pops out of its hole. Someone asks, "Do you know the muffin man?" and little voices chirp back, "The muffin man?" Then another scuffle breaks out. Jane and I restore order; there might even be a few mild threats. They resume their writing quietly until a third gopher bursts out, "Teacher! Do you remember what happened yesterday? Tony and Louis fell in the pond!" Suddenly every gopher in the field is dying with laughter, and Tony has turned bright red. When the storm passes and all the writing is finally complete, the gophers burst from their holes and run outside.

Besides being incredibly energetic, the children have a tendency towards the melodramatic. Before each test, they would put their heads in their hands, drape themselves dramatically over their chairs, and moan, "Teacher, we will die, we will die." So, I told them what the Roman gladiators would do, and now, right before each test, they raise their hands in salute, and say together (with great relish): "We, who are about to die, salute you."

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