I PUT A PUSSY WILLOW UP MY NOSE

My wife, Carol, has been involved in education for a long time. She spent 14 years teaching 3rd grade and gifted kids. Her adventures with the gifted group have been grist for so many stories. At the time Carol taught, many gifted programs did not divide the children by age. If they did, there were a few grades in any group.

It is for that reason that planning activities for those kinds of children becomes even more difficult. These are never ordinary kids. If they are really gifted, they give their regular teachers headaches. How about a kindergarten child who became the milk money counter because he did a better and more accurate job than the kindergarten teacher. Furthermore, the teacher appreciated the extra time that this munchkin gave her to do other chores in the classroom.

How about the second grader who worried about his teacher because she had a difficult time understanding the concept of negative numbers. If you have ever been a teacher at any grade, you have run into these kinds of children once in a while. Most teachers love to have them in their classes. They add so much to the classroom atmosphere even while driving the teacher nuts.

Sally was in kindergarten. She would cry when she came to Carol’s class. Carol finally got her to tell what she was crying about. In a blubbery voice she said, “I worry about the children that I have left behind in kindergarten. They won’t be able to play the games because I am the only one in class who can read.” Touche Mrs. Hillman.

Mark was in third grade and Carol had prepared a peanut butter and confectionary concoction that was stiff like clay. The children were supposed to make it into something creative. Mark kept licking his hands and rolling the concoction in his hands. He clearly wanted to eat it. Carol said to him, “You cannot eat it until you create something out of it other than a ball.” He quickly made fist, traced his thumbnail down the center of the ball from top to bottom of the ball and said, “It’s a hiney,” and stuffed it into this mouth.

Roger was in kindergarten and wore glasses that were covered in chalk dust and always askew. His favorite activity was to recite songs backwards. When asked what he was most anxious to learn about, he thought for a moment and asked, “How does Santa get to all of those houses in one night?”

Brittany was in third grade. One day she said to Carol, “Do you have dry underwear?” Carol said, “yes,” do you?” “No I need some.”

Then there is Johann. Johann was a really exceptional first grader who was fond of making animal noises. He was very immature for his age. If you can imagine someone so bright and then immature at the same time.

Carol decided to take the lot of her children to the Reading Museum to see some shrunken heads, and other important things like paintings and statues. In front of the museum was a small stream with a garden and little bridges. The kids loved it until Johann came up to Carol and said, “Mrs. Hillman I stuck a pussy willow up my nose as far as it could go and now I can’t get it out.”

Carol looked at Johann and asked, “Why did you do that? His answer was, “I just wanted to see how far up it could go.” So, with a quick switch in lesson planning, Carol gathered the troops and took the children to the emergency ward of the next door Reading Hospital where the kids learned a bunch. Johann was fine. The end of the story happened a few years ago. Carol discovered that Johann is now Dr. Johann the pediatrician. How about that?

 

 

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