Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Back in the Saddle--Split Assignment, Middle and Grammar School PE

Dear Dad,

So, you decided to work part time in at the coast?  That’s cool.

You sound like you don’t really want to do it though?  I'm sure it wont take up too much of your time so that you can still gather rocks in your spare time.  I didn't think you would ever want to teach P.E., but I think that’s really cool.  It was in middle school that I actually started giving a crap about being in shape.  I got the presidential physical fitness award both years, and ran the fastest mile I may possibly ever run, 6:30 or something like that.

I hope everything else is well and will talk with you again soon...

Love, Matt.

Dear Matt,

The day was splendid (a word I may never have used before). 

In the morning I watched middle school students mess around with badminton rackets, admittedly a bit tedious, too much like teaching high school, always having to deal with negative behaviors. But after lunch, I was sent to a grammar school (didn't know P.E. was offered at that level) which was a real treat.

Love those cute little kids and their needy questions: could you tie my shoe? Do you think I need a band aid? (and) May I please go to the bathroom?  First through third graders, something tells me you don't have to worry whether they are meeting someone to sell drugs, bust heads, or deface school property).

And just standing on the playground/grass area of a coastal grammar school was like a piece of heaven: a view of the ocean over the ridge of houses to my left, woods leading to Hearst Castle straight ahead, green hills with undulating grass to my right.  You put forty kids on a field, ten in each corner wearing different colored streamers like in flag football. Then a whistle is blown and they all run madly screaming toward the middle.  Imagine Braveheart done with munchkins, but they never, ever stop running.  When one child loses a flag, he goes down on one knee until another student brings him a replacement (ripped from someone else).  The child receiving the flag says "Thank You" and gets up to create more mayhem.  I asked the regular P.E. if there was a point to the game.
"No.  And yes.  They run around relentlessly, burning up energy, and learn to share.  Their teachers get a break to plan and consult with each other and the students return to class calmer and more ready to learn."

Made sense to me. 

The day seemed long, probably because it was filled with so many new experiences.  If the regular teacher's back injury doesn't get better right away, I could possibly work through Friday at around $100 dollars a day.  By then I  think I will break even with all the test fees and such I forked out to get back into education.  Any assignments after that will be play money.  Hmmm....more rock grinding and polishing equipment!

How could it get any better?  I get to wear sweats tomorrow just like a real PE teacher.