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Monday, 14 December 2009

Who'd be a kindergarten teacher!

Two degrees at 8:30am, the coldest morning of this winter so far. Overcast and threatening some sort of precipitation.

Love children? Try this.

Eighty under-6s, the majority under 4, and some still with dummies and comforters.

Eighty butts on the loo.

Eighty jackets on. Eighty scarfs and hats securely in place.

Eighty hopping, jumping, punching, chattering sprogs in line by twos...

And out the backdoor. Through the garden and into the street.

"Stay close to the wall, Arturo! Maria! Carlotta!"

Down the street past doting grandmothers. Past garden watchdogs. Past roadworks diggers.

"Hurry up, Giuliano! Anna! Marisa!"

Across the car park, down the backstreets.

"Look out! Here comes a car!"

Into the school theatre. Christmas tree, decorations, fake gifts in glittery boxes, magnets for little hands, soon footballs for little feet.

Deep breath.

Eighty jackets off. Scarves, hats ditto. Eighty excited little bodies onstage under the lights. Jumping, hopping, chattering, cuddling, arguing, shoving, tongues out, hair pulled. Two over-excited little bodies crying for Mama. A school for card sharps swaps Gormiti cards behind the flats. The curtains aren't working. The music's too loud. The school caretaker is growling incomprehensible dialect.

"Cantate! Forte! Sing! And sing loud!"

"We can't hear you, and if Babbo Natale can't hear you he won't know where to come..."

"Maestra...I need to go to the loo!" "Me too!" "Me too!"

Turkish toilets. How charming. Any one of these under-6s seen one of these before? Didn't think so...Okay, ragazzi think Brussels boy, ragazze just hover (as my mother used to say)...

"Again from the top, wake up! Wake up!"

Lunchtime. Deep breath.

Eighty under-6s looking for their coats, hats and scarves, only a quarter of which are labelled. Help me, maestra, help me! Help me first, maestra, help me first!" No, no Anna has Carlotta's hat and Arturo has Emilia's cardi. Elisabetta has no coat, and Oswaldo's is on upside down.

Eighty under-6s diverted from their task by theatre-style swing-seats - squeak...bump! squeak...bump! Eighty under-6s finally cajoled into lines and pointed in the direction of the kindergarten and food.

"Andiamo, tutti!"

Through the underground car park eighty under-6 voices take up a special tune:

"We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
And a happy new year..."

And the maestra d'inglese smiles a smile big enough for eighty under-6s. She thinks to herself that even if the English Christmas Song is a disaster at this afternoon's Festa di Natale in front of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, childminders and important school officials, even if she ends up wanting to shrivel up and disappear into a hole in the ground, this moment of 'spontaneous language production' has made it all worthwhile...









12 comments:

choirgirl said...

Hope all goes well and "Away in a Manger" with an Italian accent is a success!!

Christine Gram said...

Oh, that sounds like some fantastic singing at the end. I don't know how they do it in any language.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes I can imagine. But aren't they adorable?

Michelle said...

Sounds like you had a very hard day.
I have to remember to label the clothes of my (future) children for the sake of the kindergarteners.

jane ward said...

Fantastic, sounds like a glass of vino will be in order

LadyFi said...

Sounds delightfully exhausting! Hope all goes well.

katie in giro said...

the images in my mind while reading this couldn't help but make me smile - please let us know how the performance goes! :) in bocca al lupo!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Wonderful story-telling. You're right, the spontaneous song is an absolute success!

bettyl said...

Teachers have all my admiration! I know I couldn't do it, especially that age!

Abigail said...

What a lovely story, you just made me tear up a little bit :)

(hi from a kindergarten EFL teacher in Japan by the way!)

Andrea said...

Well done!
This was my life for twelve years. So many surprises and funny things happening and wildness and color, so much to do and watch over, and a full heart to carry home every day. And always, always stories to tell.
Thanks again.

Came here from WOW, by the way. So glad you are one of their choices.

sparkle100-havealook.blogspot.com said...

My oldest Grandchild is in second year of University of Being a Kindergarden teacher.

She has a smile that never stops and a T.L. Care of attitude. I know she will be okay with all that you mentioned.


Nice blog.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Who'd be a kindergarten teacher!

Two degrees at 8:30am, the coldest morning of this winter so far. Overcast and threatening some sort of precipitation.

Love children? Try this.

Eighty under-6s, the majority under 4, and some still with dummies and comforters.

Eighty butts on the loo.

Eighty jackets on. Eighty scarfs and hats securely in place.

Eighty hopping, jumping, punching, chattering sprogs in line by twos...

And out the backdoor. Through the garden and into the street.

"Stay close to the wall, Arturo! Maria! Carlotta!"

Down the street past doting grandmothers. Past garden watchdogs. Past roadworks diggers.

"Hurry up, Giuliano! Anna! Marisa!"

Across the car park, down the backstreets.

"Look out! Here comes a car!"

Into the school theatre. Christmas tree, decorations, fake gifts in glittery boxes, magnets for little hands, soon footballs for little feet.

Deep breath.

Eighty jackets off. Scarves, hats ditto. Eighty excited little bodies onstage under the lights. Jumping, hopping, chattering, cuddling, arguing, shoving, tongues out, hair pulled. Two over-excited little bodies crying for Mama. A school for card sharps swaps Gormiti cards behind the flats. The curtains aren't working. The music's too loud. The school caretaker is growling incomprehensible dialect.

"Cantate! Forte! Sing! And sing loud!"

"We can't hear you, and if Babbo Natale can't hear you he won't know where to come..."

"Maestra...I need to go to the loo!" "Me too!" "Me too!"

Turkish toilets. How charming. Any one of these under-6s seen one of these before? Didn't think so...Okay, ragazzi think Brussels boy, ragazze just hover (as my mother used to say)...

"Again from the top, wake up! Wake up!"

Lunchtime. Deep breath.

Eighty under-6s looking for their coats, hats and scarves, only a quarter of which are labelled. Help me, maestra, help me! Help me first, maestra, help me first!" No, no Anna has Carlotta's hat and Arturo has Emilia's cardi. Elisabetta has no coat, and Oswaldo's is on upside down.

Eighty under-6s diverted from their task by theatre-style swing-seats - squeak...bump! squeak...bump! Eighty under-6s finally cajoled into lines and pointed in the direction of the kindergarten and food.

"Andiamo, tutti!"

Through the underground car park eighty under-6 voices take up a special tune:

"We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
And a happy new year..."

And the maestra d'inglese smiles a smile big enough for eighty under-6s. She thinks to herself that even if the English Christmas Song is a disaster at this afternoon's Festa di Natale in front of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, childminders and important school officials, even if she ends up wanting to shrivel up and disappear into a hole in the ground, this moment of 'spontaneous language production' has made it all worthwhile...









12 comments:

choirgirl said...

Hope all goes well and "Away in a Manger" with an Italian accent is a success!!

Christine Gram said...

Oh, that sounds like some fantastic singing at the end. I don't know how they do it in any language.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes I can imagine. But aren't they adorable?

Michelle said...

Sounds like you had a very hard day.
I have to remember to label the clothes of my (future) children for the sake of the kindergarteners.

jane ward said...

Fantastic, sounds like a glass of vino will be in order

LadyFi said...

Sounds delightfully exhausting! Hope all goes well.

katie in giro said...

the images in my mind while reading this couldn't help but make me smile - please let us know how the performance goes! :) in bocca al lupo!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Wonderful story-telling. You're right, the spontaneous song is an absolute success!

bettyl said...

Teachers have all my admiration! I know I couldn't do it, especially that age!

Abigail said...

What a lovely story, you just made me tear up a little bit :)

(hi from a kindergarten EFL teacher in Japan by the way!)

Andrea said...

Well done!
This was my life for twelve years. So many surprises and funny things happening and wildness and color, so much to do and watch over, and a full heart to carry home every day. And always, always stories to tell.
Thanks again.

Came here from WOW, by the way. So glad you are one of their choices.

sparkle100-havealook.blogspot.com said...

My oldest Grandchild is in second year of University of Being a Kindergarden teacher.

She has a smile that never stops and a T.L. Care of attitude. I know she will be okay with all that you mentioned.


Nice blog.