Fifteen Minutes

Transitioning to the classroom after staying at home with my children for ten years was not easy.  Technology BK (Before Kids) consisted of telephone calls to parents, a very large desktop computer, mimeograph machines, overhead projectors, and VCR’s.  Technology AK (After Kids) involved communicating with parents through email, laptops/tablets, fancy photocopiers, SmartBoards, and CD’s.  Let’s just say, I was more than overwhelmed.  

I didn’t realize it at the time, but my first class AK was quite challenging.  My morning kindergarten was  filled with high-energy ‘ber-babies’ (children born in October, November, or December who entered kindergarten as 4-year olds).  As I was adjusting to this new way of teaching, I was also trying to manage a wide range of behaviors.  

If you have ever taught kindergarten, you know that kindergartners say anything and everything.  As I was just about ready to launch my Word Study lesson, in walks a group of seven school administrators completing state-wide Instructional Rounds.  My inner-voice reminded me to remain calm.  My young learners loved Word Study and they were always engaged in the lessons.  Besides, what could go wrong in fifteen minutes?

Things were going great.  My kinders remained so focused on me.  Two words done, three to go.  “Elbows up!” and 20 little elbows flew into the air.  I was not overly worried about the one lonely elbow that was gently stroking my leg; poking at my stockings.  Although Linus didn’t raise his elbow in the air like his peers, I could hear him ‘tapping’ and blending the sounds orally with great ease . . .

/m/  /o/  /p/  ——- mop

In the air waves Linus’s hand.  Assuming that Linus was going to share something off task, I looked right over his head and continued, “Let’s build the word.”  Students quickly searched for the corresponding letter tiles, moving them to the bottom half of their letter boards . . . 

Linus’s hand continued to wave like crazy.  All I could think of were the seven set of eyes in the back of the room.  So I simply continued, “Great job Boys and Girls.  You built the word mop.  Let’s spell it!”  

As if he was about to bubble over, up go both of Linus’s hands.   The class spells, “m…o…p” and I continue to forge ahead and say, “Spell it away!”  

And this is when Linus could no longer contain himself,  “Mrs. Aufin, Mrs. Aufin! I have an important question.”

“Hang tight Linus.  I’ll be with you in two words.”  

“No! No!  It’s important; really R.E.A.L.L.Y important!  I can’t wait two words.  I can’t wait one word!”

I think . . . seven administrators . . . fourteen eyes . . . seven really R.E.A.L.L.Y important people.  And yet, I surrender to the wave, “Okay Linus.  What is it?  What is really R.E.A.L.L.Y important?” 

And as serious as any five-year old can be, Linus bursts out, “Mrs. Aufin, how do you get whiskers on your legs?”

And with that, seven really R.E.A.L.L.Y important people couldn’t contain their laughter!  



Published by georgiaaustin1

Wife, Mother, Dog Lover, Elementary Assistant Principal excited to write

10 thoughts on “Fifteen Minutes

  1. I can just visualize this. I taught Kindergarten for 20 years – they are precious and lack any type of filter.
    Well done on keeping your cool while the posse of administrators were in your room. Thank goodness they were able to chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good job on keeping calm! I can just picture this! I would love to say that by 5th grade they have learned to not ask things like that, but they just feel more empowered to critique! Thankfully they have learned not to do that while people are observing though!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my god! Oh my god! I’m dying! This really perked up my horrible, no good, very bad day! I love how you built up your slice, and I could really feel the pressure of all those grown ups watching.I knew Linus was about to wallop us with a doozy! He did not disappoint!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “What could go wrong in fifteen minutes?” HA! Famous. Final. Words. There’s so much to love about this story. First of all? If those administrators were anything worth their salt, they would know that this is 100% perfectly par for the course when it comes to kiddos. Thanks for a slice that made me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

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