Posted tagged ‘Goofy’

Lessons I’ve Learned From a Week of Substitute Teaching

April 30, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                             APRIL 30, 2016

             

It is April 30! That means there are a lot of school teachers who have reached the teaching equivalent of the Boston Marathon’s “Heartbreak Hill”, a torturous climb at of about a half-mile between miles 20 and 21 of the race. A lot of teachers are “looking at the hill” right now and wondering if they can make it.

Thus, the number of calls to substitute teach have increased substantially! This week I spent two days with first graders, one day in junior high physical education, and one day in a high school strength and conditioning class. I could write a book…or at least a blog…on what I’ve learned, good and bad. Here’s a few:

1) First grade girls think having man for a substitute is like having one of the Disney characters visit the class. Although I resembled Goofy, they thought it was awesome!

2) When you play dodgeball with a class of 7th and 8th graders you become the target! I visited my optometrist after school to get my glasses readjusted as a result of getting hit…several times!

3) Being the substitute teacher in a strength and conditioning class is the equivalent of being a lame-duck elected official. They know your time is short so they just wait you out. (Personal note: Never ever ever sub for this class again! Lame!)

4) In junior high physical education the boy who says he can’t participate because of an injury…is the student to keep your eye on! Who brings suckers to PE class to pass out to those playing dodgeball?

5) In first grade there are “helpers” who will always willingly come to your rescue. You just have to keep an eye on two helpers who are both pushing on one another in order to be the first one to come to your rescue.

6) Being educated in the 60’s and 70’s means that there will always be concepts and terms used in today’s classroom that you will be totally clueless about!

7) First grade PE is the classroom teacher’s best friend!

8) Strength and conditioning class is a microcosm of today’s work force. There are those who will do as much as they can…and there are those who will do as little as possible…and those who will look busy when the boss looks their way.

9) First grade girls already have their eyes on who “the boys” are! They are already in pre-relationship mode! On the other hand, the boys are totally clueless. They are willing to show interest in the girls, but only after the soccer ball has become totally deflated and there is nothing else to do.

10) Dismissal at the end of a first grade day begins with a high five from the teacher as each student is leaving the classroom.

11) Each junior high PE class has at least one student who took a double dose of “obnoxious medicine” that morning.

12) I eat healthier when I substitute teach. Instead of being coerced by my granddaughter to go out to lunch at Chick-fil-a, I sit in my classroom eating raw vegetables.

13) At the end of the day first grade students are almost sad to leave you, junior high students will willingly trample over you if you don’t move, and high school students are focused on their cell phones as they walk obliviously towards the chaotic parking lot.

14) BUT when the substitute teacher leaves at the end of the day…he has no papers to take home to grade! Awesome!

 

Taking A Three Year Old to the Magic Kingdom

October 23, 2014

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       October 23, 2014

                     

Our family recently spent five days at Disney World. Seven of us trudged to the airport at 4:30 in the morning to catch a flight towards Goofy and his friends. For five days we side-stepped strollers and motorized wheelchairs to make our way through the Magic Kingdom and its side-kicks…Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. It was a family trip to remember!

The last time we had been to Disney World was twenty years ago when our oldest daughter, Kecia, was turning 13. It was evident that she was as excited to return again this time as she had been in 1994. Her excitement this time, however, was not due to her own anticipation of riding on the “It’s A Small World” attraction once again, but rather to watch the reactions of her kids to the Disney mystique.

They were enthralled by the experience. Riding on Dumbo…having lunch at the Sci-Fi restaurant…meeting Donald Duck at the over-priced character breakfast…taking the mono-rail…wearing Mickey Mouse ears…and seeing the wild animals on their safari ride.

Massive amounts of energy! Wide-eyed wonder!

For me, the best part of the trip was simply being with the family and watching them experience things. Sometimes I enjoyed watching Kecia as she watched her kids!

The magical moments for me weren’t the Disney attractions, but rather things that don’t cost money…like our granddaughter Reagan making up songs in the van on the drive back to the hotel at night…or our grandson Jesse’s open mouth as he went through the Buzz Lightyear ride…or riding “Rockin’ Roller Coaster” with my son…twice! Or eating funnel cakes with Kecia…or seeing the delight on Carol’s face as she saw the enjoyment her family was having.

Although the Magic Kingdom does a magic trick on your bank account…it makes it disappear just like that…our family will always remember the time we had together on this trip.

Interestingly enough, my Aunt Irene paid for our 1994 Disney trip. She was battling cancer. Having no children of her own she gave a sum of money to each of our twelve nieces and nephews while she was still living. Her request was that we use it on something that we would enjoy…while she was still alive to see it! Six months after we went to Disney World she passed away, but she was thrilled that we had taken the family vacation to Florida.

When we look back on our lives most of us will realize that there were those rare opportunities of family memories that we took advantage of…that we didn’t let them slip away. They don’t necessarily have to be trips to magic kingdoms or foreign countries, but they do need to be experiences where, as family, we are together…laughing, singing, telling stories and creating new stories.

Spending time with a three year old is magic in motion!