Late at night, when I just switch the t.v. off, I lie there, doing my best thinking. I don't know why but that is the time when random thoughts come through my head. You would think that I would have trouble falling asleep, but no I fall asleep just fine. Last night I was recalling when I was a fourth grader. I think some of my best remembrances come from fourth grade.
My teacher's name was Mrs. Woods, she moonlighted as a real estate agent. She eventually (years after I finished fourth) left teaching to do real estate full time. One time she came to our house to advertise, give out flyers. I don't think she realized that she was in a neighborhood that housed her kids!
Every year I was put in the same class as Walter Horowitz, doesn't the name just give you a clue? I was the sweet, quiet girl, and well Walter was the opposite. They thought, year after year, that I would rub off on him. Walter thought the word bitchen wasn't a swear, despite me telling him repeatedly it was. He loved Gun's 'N Roses. Walter had come up with this big scheme to randomly steal the chalk off the chalkboard ledge when Mrs. Woods was not in the room. No one in the class knew but he and I. We had an empty desk in our group, so all the chalk went into there. Every time, Mrs. Woods would search around for the chalk, wouldn't think anything of it, and go get a new piece. This went on for weeks, finally one afternoon, after knowing she had put a new piece on the ledge, she suspected something. Our gig was up. I don't remember how it all transpired, but she was led to the "empty" desk. She opened it to find a HUGE mound of chalk. I still laugh to this day. She wasn't mad. Hey she now had an unlimited supply of chalk.
Our fourth grade science teacher was named Mr. Alexrod. In my mind he was older, probably not, but when you're in fourth and your teacher has grey/balding hair, you're old. He was a nerd to a T. He wore a huge pocket protector everyday and had a colossal collection of keys hanging from his belt loop. He loved to refer to the class as "peoples". "Ok peoples please take out your science books." (and yes, please read that with a Steve Erkel accent, because that was truly how he talked). One day the whole building lost power, we were in the middle of science class. Mr. Axelrod came to the rescue, out of the millions of keys he had, he pulls out a mini-flashlight, really mini. He flashes it around on us and says, (yes with a Steve Erkel accent) "Don't be alarmed kids, don't be alarmed." I think we just all sat there staring at him, because he was serious that the mini-flashlight was going to help, we were just all praying they would let us go home.
I had my first late assignment (or at least memorable ones) and made the honor roll for the first time in fourth grade. Our school didn't start honor roll until fourth, but I didn't achieve it until later in the school year. About mid-year I lost my homework folder. I look everywhere, my parents look everywhere, it was very unlike me. I had a lot of assignments that were due in that folder, which ended up being late/missing. I remember crying at my desk all during math. I was devastated that I didn't have the assignment that was due. Mrs. Woods kept giving me that look like, ok kid you can stop crying now. Walter Horowitz looks at me and says, "What, did you break a nail or something?1?"
In the spring my parents let me buy a trick calculator. You know the type that sprays water at you when you press a certain button. You know where this is going... I brought it to school to show off. I was or it was a hit! The kids were around me trying to see it when Mrs. Woods came up. She was clueless, took the calculator, pressed the button and yes was sprayed in her face. You know she never got mad, just took the calculator away for the rest of the day. I got it back at the end of the day.
I like to share these stories with my students, to remind them that I was once there age and in a way still can relate to what they are going through. Although, I do warn that I will notice if my chalk goes missing. :)