February 23, 2008

the kids

i taught kids classes today for the first time ever. this is not a new job, i was just covering for a friend that's out of town. elementary substitute teacher, if you will. this is a brief summary.

the morning class: a group of seven, ranging in age from 6-10. our topic was 'sea creatures' which was less than thrilling. the lone 6-year-old gave himself the name Bush (like the American guy). this kid is the classic Chinese "little emperor". and he was a flirt! this little guy even knew how to wink. we sang a song about fish, we colored fish, we pronounced different fish names. basically it was all about fish for an hour and a half. the fish song was the biggest hit of the morning, Bush was all about the song.

the afternoon class: a group of four, middle-school aged kids. this group was definitely there against their will. it was visible all over their faces. i think every teacher hopes to be the one that "makes learning fun", the inspired teacher that turns the bored into the engaged. with this group of four miserable middle schoolers i just hoped to entertain.
the first kid to come into the classroom was Jack. He was a tiny guy, with huge eyes and an adorable smile. he entered with a yellow racecar in his hand- the kind that clicks when you reverse it, and self propels once released. Jack was using the walls of the classroom as his racetrack, zipping around the perimeter of the room as fast as his little legs could take him.
about 10 minutes into our lesson, i asked Jack a question while the others were attempting a worksheet. his eyes rolled up, he sat completely still and became completely non-responsive. i thought, "kids are funny and they do strange things to express boredom". i said, "Jack, come on, answer my question." I touched his arm. Jack wasn't faking it. he wasn't with us. i had learned about seizures while taking a WSI course through the Red Cross and i knew that i shouldn't interfere, but just to make sure he didn't hurt himself. probably 30-60 seconds later (but seemed like 5 minutes) Jack just snapped back into things and it was as if nothing had happened. i said "Welcome Back Jack". that's the only thing that came to mind.

Here's what I found on Google:
An absence seizure causes a loss of consciousness that is usually very brief — 30 seconds or less — and barely noticeable, if at all. The person simply stops moving or speaking, stares straight ahead blankly, and does not respond to questions. The seizure is so short and hard to even notice that a person can have 50 or 100 absence seizures a day, without them being detected. When the seizure ends, the person goes back to his or her normal activities without realizing that anything has happened; he or she also does not have any memory of the seizure.

i think i'll stick to kids swim lessons for now. it's way more interesting to teach them to swim "like a fish", than to pronounce different fish names.

1 comment:

fromheretothere said...

so fun teaching little ones. but i'm sure they are a handful. hope things are going well. think of you often.