I was recently in a classroom getting twenty kindergarten kiddies ready for home as their assorted parents, babysitters, relatives and friends waited patiently outside. In the midst of all the hustle, bustle and chaos of zippers, shoes, backpacks, notices and library books, came a rather shrill little voice yelling, "Hey look. Look at me."
It's amazing what happens to even the most trained professionals when we are overwhelmed, rushing about, multi tasking, desperate for more hands and unable to focus. All evidence of psychology training, learned teaching strategies and early childhood courses falls by the wayside.
In this instance, "Hey look. Look at me," came from the mouth of an impish young fellow who elected not to get dressed, but rather demonstrate a talent for rolling both eyeballs toward his nose. Of course, he elicited the desired attention from his classmates who chanted in unison, "Ewwwwwwwwww."
Super teacher that I am, I immediately took action to regain control over the situation. With years of education and experience under my belt, I responded sternly with, "Stop doing that or your eyes will stay frozen that way forever." I couldn't believe my own ears. Did that actually just come out of my mouth? I shook my head and looked around sheepishly hoping nobody over the age of five had actually just witnessed this embarassing moment.
I'm thinking that I'm not the only one who grew up with, and still has some of her parents' words of wisdom ringing in her ears. Remember these brilliant and enlightening phrases? "Wear clean underwear in case you're in an accident." "Don't eat that, you'll get worms." "You'd forget your head if it wasn't screwed on." "Don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been." Or, my all time favourite, "this hurts me more than it hurts you."
I guess my tiny classroom transgression can be described rather as a moment of regression.