There are many lovely things I cherish about teaching 2nd graders.
I love their wide-eyed eagerness when they discover a new chapter book or series.
I love watching them present reports with growing poise and confidence.
I love learning alongside them about the great men and women in history and then discussing worthy ideas like compassion, honesty, and self sacrifice.
I love watching their handwriting improve (hopefully) and seeing them learn, remember, and (again hopefully) apply the rules of the English language.
I love when science experiments work out the way I envision them in my head (though that doesn’t always happen, like last week when my balloon ripped. Talk about anti-climactic).
I love working at a Christian school where we can openly talk about God and His faithfulness, sovereignty, provision, and love. I love memorizing Scripture along with my students, hiding it in my own heart, as they’re hiding it in theirs.
I love that they think classifying sentences is fun (because I do too!).
I love the comical/odd things I overhear on a regular basis.
- “Did your uncle ever rob people at sea? Because that’s what pirates do” – (having misheard another boy who said that his uncle was a pilot).
- “Mrs. Jackson, thanks for making our brains smart.” (said by quiet girl while lining up)
- When the students were tasked to bring in one special item that told us something about them the first week of school. – “I brought this to show the class because I love animals.” (as he held up a clear plastic bag with a dead hummingbird scraped up from the parking lot). Gulp.
- (getting out of line to walk up and tell me this, while flexing bicep) “Do you want to feel my muscle, Mrs. Jackson?” No, I want you to get in line 🙂
What I don’t love is when worms invade my classroom.
A couple months ago, my students and I discovered little white worms periodically here and there on the floor and in our basket where they keep their pencil bags.
Not worms. More like grubs. Larvae. Ugh, I really don’t like that word right now.
Now, if I’m ever a mom to little boys, I will certainly let them play in the dirt and hold bugs and touch worms. I see it as part of childhood and discovery. Getting dirty doesn’t bother me. I had no problem with my students’ little acorn collecting hobby (granted that they didn’t eat them, throw them at each other, or get distracted by them when back in class). Harmless. “They’re just curious about nature,” I thought, “and I don’t want to stifle that.” But when little critters start to make their way inside and into places they shouldn’t be, that’s where I draw the line. For a teacher, her classroom is like her second home, a place where she spends a lot of time. And I don’t want larvae in my home.
So, I did the only logical thing – I put a ban on bringing acorns into the classroom.
But then, these past two weeks the worms have been spotted again. I don’t know how many times the students said, “Mrs. Jackson, there’s another weevil on the ground!” And I would have to go pick it up with a kleenex and throw it away. This happened multiple times the other day. Five. Maybe six? It was getting old.
Each time, I noticed that the larva was located around the same little boy’s desk. Hmmm…
So I ask him, “_________, do you have any acorns in your desk?”
To his credit, he was honest. “Well, I guess I have these…” (as he proceeds to pull a ziplock bag FULL of acorns out of his pencil bag. The bag had holes in it and was moist with condensation – a larvae haven.)
I walked over to his desk and took a peek inside the pencil bag from whence the acorns came and saw (brace yourself) several little, white larvae inside among his tools, some dead, some crawling around.
(Let’s all pause to wiggle our bodies at the grossness of this.)
Because of the class time missed to deal with the larvae situation, it was suddenly time to take my students to lunch (I know, gross timing, right?), then recess.
Needless to say, the boy (who I enjoy as a person and a student, though I didn’t appreciate the worm thing) had to discard of his beloved acorn bag immediately and, during recess, clean out his pencil bag, check his desk for other critters, and wash his hands.
While the children were out of the room, I snapped these pics so that I could show my husband what the bugs looked like, so he could help me identify them. They are indeed acorn weevil larvae.
Here’s a chant that another teacher suggested I could teach my class next:
Isn’t that great? Some teachers get all the rhyming talent.
So there’s a little peek into my teaching world. Some days I feel great. Some days I feel like I fail. Some days I’m surprised. Some days I’m delighted. Some days I’m grossed out.