. Regurgitated Alpha Bits

Friday, September 11, 2015

In High Demand

We have one fourth grader this year who is pretty quickly becoming one of my favorite kids ever. 

His name is Chuck, and he's a unique little guy. He struggles a bit with interpersonal communication, personal space, and letting things go. To me, that's just part of his charm. 

Oh, he also speaks with absolutely no intonation. His delivery of every line is very flat and almost robotic-sounding. 

He may be on the spectrum. Or maybe not. It doesn't really matter to me. He's a lot of fun and a cool kid.  

In class last week, we made posters of ourselves participating in a physical activity that we enjoy. Students could pick whatever activity they want. They could even include a friend in their picture. They also had to use a speech bubble to tell us why they enjoy that activity. 

Then, we took photos of the kids and my teaching partner cut out their heads and pasted the real photo of their head on the cartoon drawing of their body. We hung these adorable pictures in our windows facing out at the school. 

Only things went tragically wrong apparently. 

You see, Chuck drew a picture of himself riding bikes with his friend. Both individuals in the picture look identical. He did not include a speech bubble coming from his mouth, leaving us to guess which person was Chuck and which was his friend. 

We guessed wrong. 

So this morning went like this:

Chuck: Um, Mrs. Lee. We have a very serious problem.
Me: Oh my! What is it. 
Chuck: Well, my head is on the wrong body. 

It's at this point I get really nervous because I don't know that he's talking about head on his poster. 

Me: uuummmmmm, what?
Chuck: My head. It's on the wrong body. In the window. 
Me: Ooohhhh. (Phew. No psych call needed) Well, Chuck, we needed to guess which was you because you forgot to include your speech bubble. 
Chuck: You guessed wrong. 
Me: I'm sorry about that. I wish we'd guessed correctly. 
Chuck: So you're going to fix it, right?
Me: Unfortunately, no. 
Chuck: Why not?
Me: Following directions is important. I wish you had followed them during the activity so we could have put your head on the correct body, however that's not what happened. Now you're just going to have to adjust to your new body. 
Chuck: But it's not my body. 
Me: I understand that. 

Fast forward to later in the day:

Chuck: I have an idea Mrs. Lee. Roooooll up the blinds, taaaaaaaake down my picture, peeeeeeel off my head, paaaaaaaaaaaste it on the other body, taaaaaaaape the picture back in the window and roooooooll down the blinds. 
Me: Sorry, Chuck but that's probably not going to happen. This is a good lesson in following directions carefully. That's more important to me than anything. 
Chuck: But I want my head on my body. 
Me: I understand that. 

Fast forward to later in the day:

Chuck: Here's what's going to happen, Mrs. Lee. You're GOING TO roll up the blinds, TAKE DOWN my picture, PEEL OFF my head, PASTE IT on the other body, HANG UP my picture and ROLL DOWN the blinds. 
Me: Probably not. 
Chuck: But that's not my body. 
Me: And had you included the speech bubble, we would have known that. 
Chuck: I want my own body. 
Me: I understand that. 

The ball's in his court. Let's see what Monday brings. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

One Word


That's the one word a student in our class thought best described him. 


He chose that word because it's what he's been told. 


He chose that word because it's how he feels. 


Adults in his life made him believe it's true. 


Kids encouraged him to embrace it. 


I'm so glad we asked. 

And ashamed that I might possibly have reinforced his opinion of himself if we hadn't. 

It's a good reminder to me that I must always try to do better for these kids, no matter what I know or don't know about them. 


Let's change that. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


How to instantly become my favorite student: 

Be funny. 

How to instantly stop being my favorite student:

Let a long dingle dangle of snot hang out of your nose and rock back and forth so it swings like a pendulum while I'm watching you from across the room. 

This has been a public service announcement for all fourth graders. You may resume your regularly scheduled programming now. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Don't Be Alarmed

As I've said before, one of my favorite parts of my job is downtime when I can just chat with the kids. Their true little personalities come out then. 

I did that today as they waited in line for ice cream sundaes after our 4th grade field day. 

So, we're in a park and a car alarm nearby starts beeping. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Me: Wow. That's the worst song I've ever heard. (Wink wink)

Abby: Yeh, it sounds like a broken record. 

Me: I'm amazed you know what a broken record is, let alone what it sounds like!

Abby: Mrs. Lee, I know a LOTTA things about a LOTTA things. (Insert sassy head snap)

Me: Noted