This morning I had playground duty.
Playground duty consisted of me keeping the kindergarteners off the patch of black ice they were trying to crack with their 40 pound bodies. Doing so would prevent any life-threatening concussions and/or bloodied and bruised bodies. So, I dutifully fulfilled my obligation by watching them like a hawk and repeatedly telling them to “Get off the ice.”
It was the equivalent of herding cats. The moment I looked away to address the need of any other human being, they were back on the ice, trying to crack it with their 40 pound bodies.
Whatever. Go for it. Get a concussion. But you were warned.
My other duty was standing at the top of the stairs while the students entered the building. I’m not sure the purpose of this duty. Perhaps to keep students from shoving each other down the stairs or body-slamming their classmates into the brick building. I don’t know. But let me tell you, I did a bang-up job of standing at the top of those stairs.
Once playground duty was finished, I followed my 4th graders into the building. This, of course, was trickier than I thought because now I was required to keep the 4th grade boys from body slamming each other into the lockers on either side of the hallway.
Pre-adolescent boys are… exhausting.
Anyway, as I was verbally reminding them to, “Stooooop. Boys! Hands to yourselves.” it occurred to me how ridiculous I must have looked to the other adults in the hallway. Because these 4th grade boys had hit that awkward growth-spurt phase and were now as tall as, if not bigger, than I was.
Any one of these boys could have body-slammed me into a locker, effectively giving me the same concussion and bloodied body I had warned the kindergarteners about.
Do you know how embarrassing it is to be smaller than a 4th grader? A FOURTH GRADER? I’m pretty sure some of the adults didn’t recognize me as an adult, because I was the same size as the kids I was in charge of. I wondered how many of them were wondering about the new 4th grade student who sounded and acted like a grown up, but certainly hadn’t filled out in the height department… (or any other department for that matter, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms…)
I kid, I kid.
ANYhoodles… it was awkward. It reminded me of when I taught junior high and was significantly smaller than all of my students. In fact, the boys were so much bigger than me that on my last day, one of them actually picked me up and carried me out of the classroom.
I’ll let that sink in…
Tyrese (not his actual name… duh) actually picked me up and carried me out of the classroom. I literally had no control over the situation… due to me being carried down the hall.
I KNOW. It’s kind of hard to act like you have control of a classroom when one of your students is actually carrying you down the hallway.
The thing is, I’m not even that little. I mean, you’re probably picturing a little person after what I just described. For the record, I’m 5′ 3″… and a half (that extra half inch totally counts). That’s not even that small. That’s pretty typical for a female… isn’t it? I mean… they just grow kids so dang big these days.
So, as I was following my 4th graders down the hall, I had a flashback to that harrible middle school incident, and was just happy that for most of them… I was at least a half inch taller.
(See? I told you that half inch counts.)