Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes.

By sister sent this to me this morning, my niece and nephew go to Tulip Grove, but are not in this class.

Teachers & friends - Need to laugh??
Just in case you wonder what it’s like to teach kindergarten at Tulip Grove on Inauguration Day, these are bits of conversation I had yesterday. Words that are large & bold are words of kindergarteners. Small words are mine (and italics are Rebel's)– trying very hard to engage the children in this historical event.
(Ms. Wood is one of our Tulip Grove teachers who is actually in Washington at the Inauguration.)

When one of my students came in this morning, she stared at the television which was already on – covering the inauguration.
She said “Hey – I’m been watching American Idol at Home too!!”
You mean, you’ve been watching the news about the new president?
Yeah, for about 2 days.

We settled down to watch the ceremony. I let the children get their homework suckers to give them something to put in their mouth so that, maybe, they would listen.

When we began watching the ceremony –
Who’s that?
That’s President Carter – he was the president when I was a little girl. His daughter was the same age as me.
How old is she now?
She’s still my age.
How old is that?
Never mind

Where’s John McCain?
He’s not there – he didn’t win the election to be president.
Why not?
Because he didn’t.
I voted for him.
I didn’t - I voted for Barak Obama.

Hillary Clinton walks down the hall to go outside –
Hey that’s John McCain’s wife!
No – that is President Clinton & his wife Hillary. He was president before you were born.
Wasn’t she John McCain’s wife?
No – she ran for president too.
Did she win?
Then why is she there?

When the Obama girls came out –
How old are they?
Why aren’t they in school?

When Michelle Obama came out -
Is she gonna go & sit in the special chairs with her daughters?
Yes, she probably will.
Where is this again?
It’s Washington DC – remember?
Man - Why did she drive that far?

Look – those are the people that President Obama has asked to come & work with him. That’s called his cabinet.
Why does he need so many?
Because the United States is a big, important country.
Does he need that many people to help him?
Yes, he does

Looking at the thousands of people in the audience on TV –
Where’s Ms. Wood?
I’m not sure, she’s there someplace. I promise

One of the students pointing at the enlarged coins on the calendar wall –
Where are these guys?
They’re not here – they’re dead.

What about George Washington, where is he?
He’s also dead.

Where’s Ms. Wood?
I’m not sure, she is there someplace.
I don’t know there are a lot of people in that crowd, but she’s there.

Do you see all the flags boys & girls? Why do you think they’re waving the flags?
Because this is America!
That’s right.
Hey, I live in America!
I don’t, I live in Tennessee.
(so true ;) )
Those flags look like a million birds.

When Barak Obama came out
Where is his coat??? He should have a coat on!!
Yes, he should, but I’m sure he’ll be fine. (I was much more concerned about his poor ears - I'm sure his ears were frostbitten by the end of the day)

When Mr. Obama was bowing his head – I said
“What are they doing now?”
They’re prayin’
Yes, they’re praying for our country.
How come?
Well, I guess they want God to be with our Country

When the instrumental music started -
Who’s he?
His name is Yo Yo, he’s playing one of the instruments.
When was he president?
He wasn’t the president, he’s just playing the instrument.
What song is it?
I’m not sure, I bet it’s a special song.
Then why aren’t they singing any words?
I’m not sure – I guess they just wanted music this time.

During the song, Sasha Obama was talking, looking a little restless.
Look – she’s not being quiet like she’s supposed to.
Well, that’s a long time for a little girl to sit, isn’t it?

When the first lady speaker in the blue suit got up to speak (I believe it was Nancy Pelozi), I heard-
Who’s she?
That’s a lady who’s telling everyone that we’re about to swear in a new president.
Who is it?
Barak Obama, remember?
I voted for him.

When Barak Obama was sworn in –
Why is he copying everything he says?
He’s saying his promise to be a good president – remember?

After President Obama was sworn in & he began his speech I said,
“Oh, listen boys & girls, President Obama is thanking President Bush.”
Why - what did he do? (good question!)

During the speech –
Are you listening boys & girls? He’s telling people that the United States is going through tough times right now, but if we try hard, it can be even better.
Like, if we mind our mommas & daddies?
Yes, that would be good.

Listen boys & girls – can you hear the cannons? Those are big guns that shoot cannonballs.
Why are they doing that with all those people around?

And then, after it was all over -
So, who is the president now?
Barak Obama – Remember?

I’m tired – I’m very tired.

TAG - Code Apple Pie


d said...

for some reason, i'm really disturbed by the fact that this kindergarten (?) class has cable tv. and that they get 'homework suckers'. but what the hell do i know? if i had to teach a bunch of five-year-olds, i'd give them unisom the minute they walked into class every morning.

IamSusie said...

Most classrooms in middle class schools have a television mounted somewhere in a corner connected to at least a closed circuit channel and a video player.

Kindergartners are way too young to really understand what is going on, but I commend their teacher for letting them see the event. The swearing in was only a few minutes anyway.

When I was a kid we'd always stop and watch tv when they were launching a space shuttle and I think we also watched inaugurations.

Rebel said...

d - yeah the suckers thing bothered me too. But I hand out stickers every single time my kids do something they're supposed to be doing anyway, so who am I to say?

susie - our teachers would bring in a TV for important events... like, unfortunately the Challenger explosion. And in HS I remember the library had TVs on when the first Gulf War started.

Eversaved said...

You know the thing that really surprised me the most reading this text?

There's not as much difference as you would think between kindergartners and high-schoolers, G-d help us all.

Mag said...

Pretty darn cute and funny.

John and Cindy McCain were most definitely there. The loser always has to sit there and suck it up for the oath of office.