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>My first graders were a little harder to love this week, but we managed. This one goes out to Halloween candy, thanks BIG GUY! You plotted, you schemed, you fought your way into my little angels’ bloodstream and you launched a big, fat raspberry right in my face. Thanks a lot.

We talked about the church calendar’s five seasons on Monday. The kids knew about Christmas (Santa), Easter (the Easter Bunny) and Lent (“like the stuff in your belly button”), but Advent and Ordinary Time were new for them. In a circle on the floor, we went over what each season means, how and why we celebrate them.

Again, one more thank you to my frienemy, Halloween.

During the hour and a half, I hit that mental stop sign where I looked both ways, said to myself, “Parents must get more tired than I realized,” and rolled forward.

We have one kid who talks CONSTANTLY. No one has to be listening, he’ll faithfully inform the air. One girl is obviously bored, but wants our approval so she spends her time on a seesaw between listening while tap dancing and looking at us from the flat of her back.

One of our kids (my education-masters-holding good friend and co-teacher tells me he’s trouble, but he’s got me fooled) is so cute I want to gobble him up. He’s polite and uses the magic words, yet talks while we’re talking. He asks permission to go to the bathroom, but stands on his chair. This kid is so adorable and charismatic, he’s going to get a lot of attention when he grows up. Right now, I’m sure he gets a lot of attention from his daytime teacher. Like my friend, I doubt he/she thinks he’s as cute as I do.

All in all, this was the most rambunctious class we’ve ever led…. not too bad when all we have to blame or complain about is a sugar high.

This weekend I met a wonderful and energy-filled young woman who teaches CCD to fourth graders in Harlem. One told her, “I don’t have to listen to you, I’m Puerto Rican” — which is so much funnier when you can see the sassy mouth, wide eyes and sassafras finger waving in her rendition. Siblings are constantly pummeling each other in class and she hears stories about these kids who are just a few years away from some potentially dangerous ages.

She said she sees more sad than funny days in that situation, yet she chooses to return to class to teach every week and love them. That is not easy; I’m sure hearing about the home life of a Harlem kid when trying to explain the Bible can knock on her head for a long time.

On Monday, we kept a level head, taught them about the Catholic Church calendar and loved them. I’m grateful for the days I spend with these lovable, tiny people.

I’m also grateful for the very large beer I ordered in our traditional trip to the local bar that night.
Take that, Halloween.

Miss this one?
* I love 1st Graders, Week 6

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