Paint in my teeth, or why I’m starting this blog

I’m starting this blog because I talk to myself too much. You wouldn’t think I’d need to, because I spend most of my day talking. I teach elementary school, and talking is sort of my main job description. I talk to my students individually, to the whole group. Sometimes I pretend to talk to myself when I know they aren’t listening. But I actually do talk to myself pretty often. “Ok, 6 conferences so far, have to grade the math assessment. Is the science kit for the water cycle in the curriculum room? Where did I leave the grammar binder? Where is my right shoe?” My job is crazy. Sometimes I just feel the need to narrate what is happening, because it’s so crazy, or hilarious, or ridiculous. Alone in the room I will announce, “There is a sandwich in this math folder.” Or, “Someone wrote about the best way to throw a gerbil for their writing assignment.” Today it was, “There is paint in my teeth.”

I teach fourth grade, and although they sometimes cover themselves in paint to an extent that is alarming (and hilarious), getting paint in your teacher’s mouth is not typical fourth grade behavior. Enter, the kindergartners. The school I teach at has events several times a year where kids work in mixed age groups with different teachers on projects, games, and activities. It’s loads of fun for kids and teachers, but it is also exhausting. Today, we were making dragonfly magnets. We painted clothespins and wooden spoons, and glued on eyes and pipe cleaners into a fairly convincing looking bug. Most seemed surprised and lopsided, as if they had just been through a tornado or a hurricane, but they were cute.

In my last group was a kindergarten boy who was adorable, and who had no intention of listening to anything anybody told him to do. “No thanks”, he politely told the adults and older students who gave him directions. So I pretty much ended up looming over him while he wielded his paintbrush to make sure he didn’t paint the tables, his fellow students, or himself any more than he already had. Things were going ok, until I turned towards him as he gestured towards something, just in time to have several small, paint covered fingers smooshed into my mouth. “Gross”, he announced, and wiped both paint and teacher drool on the little girl next to him. She didn’t seem too fazed.

I wiped my face, made some bugs, cleaned the room, gathered my students, sent them to music, corrected some papers, and then went to the bathroom. Where I saw that there was paint in my teeth.

So I guess I’m hoping this blog can replace my own not-so-inner dialogue. What happens in my daily teacher life is usually worth sharing. This can be a place where I process, share, and get the chance to say to the world. “Holy crap. That just happened.”