Teaching third grade is just about as good as it gets in my humble opinion. Over the span of my teaching career I’ve taught every level from pre-school through 12th grade. There are inherent challenges at each level – and rewards as well.
Last Friday, my students begged and begged and we finally convinced my husband Adrien, who had been their community reader, to visit us. Friday was a special occasion in Room 207; our school has a large Southeast Asian population and we celebrate Cambodian/Lao/Viet Namese New Year every April with a Whole School Meeting. Students bring in tons of delicious homecooked Southeast Asian foods to share and we have a troupe of dancers who perform a traditional dance. Adrien was invited to taste some of the food my students brought to share.
This week was a big one for Adrien as he was one of several artists from Western Avenue Studios interviewed for Chronicle. I shared this with the kids and about half of them actually watched the broadcast! It was not assigned as homework – honest! Without prompting on my part, some of them mentioned the art they had seen and talked about seeing “their” Mr. Bisson on television. Rock Star status was conferred.
One of the best things about teaching third graders is their unabashed enthusiasm for everything. Some days I even get a “thank you” when I give them a test. And usually there’s quite a bit of cheering when we change things up and go “off task”. So when the office called the room to tell us Adrien was coming to visit, the excitement was electric. Students were practically airborne when he entered the door — and quite a few ran up to him with paper and pencil for his autograph. I have to tell you I’ve never seen THAT before.
So when you’re feeling under-appreciated, here’s my prescription: Get yourself to your local elementary school and find a group of third graders. You’ll feel much better in no time.