Monday, October 16, 2006

I Can Bite My Own Toenails

I'm thinking of doing a series of these characters, intended more for images in my gift shop as opposed to "fine art," whatever that is anyway. Click HERE to find this image on T-shirts, journals, greeting cards and more!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Best Stories are Always About Kindergarteners

I had an interesting mishap today in kindergarten that I didn't quite know how to handle... let me know if you've got any ideas about it. There's a little boy in one of my kindergarten classes that I know can be a handful. Sometimes he behaves if I SHOWER him with encouragement, so I try to prepare myself for that right before I have his class. Well, at the beginning of class he asked if he could use the bathroom. The bathroom is inside the classroom so I didn't see any problem with that. He spent about 15 minutes in the bathroom while a couple of other students complained and danced around with crossed legs, but no amount of knocking on the door hurried him up. When he was ready, he came out and sat down at his table to work on his art. He has a tendency to put markers in his mouth and eat the crayons, so I try to look at him at least every 30 seconds or so just to keep him in check. Every time I look and he's doing his work, I make a big deal about it to the class. This is usually enough encouragement to keep him working hard.

5 minutes after he started coloring, a little girl came up and tugged on my skirt. I looked at her, and she stuck her toe up near my face to show me a large red streak across the top of her obviously BRAND-NEW, white leather shoes. Guess who did it. I called the little boy over to talk to him about it only to discover that the entire top of his right boot (suede, I might add) had red marker scribbled ALL over it. The marker easily came off the little girl's shoe, but his shoe was quite a different story.

This situation definitely warranted a time-out. I sat him down on a blue stool in an area of the room with nothing else around him. He stuck his head under the stool, laid on the floor beside the stool, crawled all around the stool, and basically did everything he could to the stool without actually sitting on it. Since I didn't want to engage in a power struggle, I just kept my eye on him and monitored the rest of the class.

When it was time to line up, I lined him up somewhere in the middle... where I THOUGHT I could keep an eye on him. I stooped down to tie someone's shoe, and by the time I looked up, I was met with something that they didn't prepare me for in any elementary education course. He was stooping underneath the hand sanitizer pump mounted on the wall. His neck was craned underneath it with his mouth wide open and he was pumping vigorously. I immediately yelled out his name. He bolted upright.... and took one big gulp.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Kindergarten Crusade

I really hate that I don't have an image to go along with this story, so I'll do the best I can to create a good image for you with words. Yesterday afternoon, I taught a kindergarten class and at the time, they were using geometric shapes to design robots. While wandering around the room, making sure everyone was on-task, I noticed that one little boy had his fingers in his mouth and seemed to be up to no good. At this age, many of them are trying to pull out loose teeth, which I try to discourage in art class because I honestly don't want the commotion that immediately follows when one of them is successful.

I made my way over to him and asked cautiously, "What are you doing?" "I've got something in my teeth!" he replied. "Well, how about waiting until you get home where you can use some dental floss. Try to keep your fingers out of your mouth because you're going to get the crayons soggy and other people won't want to use them." ..."I don't have any dental floss at home, but I got toothpicks!" "That'll work."... And with that, he went back to coloring.

After art was over, I lined them up and led them through the hallway to the library where their next class was. As we stood outside the door waiting for the librarian, the same little boy shoved his index finger only a couple of centimeters from my eyeball. Backing up to a safer viewing distance, I stared at his finger trying to figure out what was on it and why he was trying to show it to me. (I'll spare you some details by not describing it). "What is it?" I asked him, forgetting about his earlier quest. "I got it out!!!!" he proudly exclaimed.