Mar 20, 2013

Tearful Goodbyes, Rambunctious Reunions, And Great Balls of Fire!

Yesterday was the final day of my first year as an "official" teacher.  Thanks to a terrible company and a business owner who could care less about kids and teaching as long as money was being made, it was a rough, frustrating, irritating, emotional, and stressful experience.  But at the same time very strengthening; I was able to see that I actually can be a pretty decent teacher.  (At least for little kids...)  And if it weren't for this job I wouldn't have made such great friends with my amazing coworkers, or gotten to form such great relationships with my wonderful little students.

Not much teaching went on yesterday, though I did finally get to do one of the activities (of many) that I had been wanting to do with my class since we came back after winter break, but couldn't since they decided to make me fill in for the teacher-less Tiny Class half of the time.
I had some food coloring left over from Easter eggs last year- red, yellow, and blue- and I also collected some small plastic water bottles to use for the project.  Each kid got to pick two colors, and after putting sparkly sequins and confetti things into the bottles and filling them up with water I sprinkled the two colors each kid had chosen into their water bottle, then let them shake it up to see what color it turned.
One of my two favorite kids, Haru-kun, absolutely loved this project.  He's such a bright kid and loves learning, and the look on his face when he shook up his bottle and saw that the blue and yellow he had chosen turned his water green was priceless!  He was so excited, wanting to see what everyone else had chosen too and kept hovering over their shoulders and mine, and I had to keep telling him to go sit back down and wait for them to finish, haha.  I was really glad the kids enjoyed it so much.

Then, maybe a half-hour before it was time to go, Coworker L (we've been teaching the youngest class together on and off throughout the year) went to unplug the CD player.. I was facing the opposite direction helping a kid with something when I saw a bright flash, and heard a sound like fireworks crackling and popping.  I paused for a second, thinking maybe a lightbulb had died or something, but then quickly turned around to see Coworker L standing there with a look of shock on her face and her hand singed black.  I realized a bit what had happened and was afraid she had been electrocuted, but she said, "No, no I'm fine.  It was just really hot!  I went to unplug this and it just... exploded and there was this big ball of.. fire or something, I don't know!"
The actual plug part was still in the outlet, but the cord had blown off of the plug.  I stood in front of the outlet trying to keep the kids away from it, and called for another teacher to come help while Coworker L went to wash off her hand.
We were laughing about it a bit, in a kind of "hey, there is only 30 minutes left of this school year, let's get through it without anyone blowing up or catching on fire!" sort of way.  The scary part was, maybe 10 minutes before that had happened, the kids had been playing on the floor right in front of said socket, and the day before Haru-kun and been messing around with the CD player- putting CDs in and out, and unplugging it himself, despite me telling him over and over that it was "only for teachers".  A stroke of luck I guess that it didn't explode on one of the kids!  God, there are so many hazards at that place...

I've still quite a bit to write about yesterday, so I'll end it here and try to get a Part Two up tomorrow.  Now I'm finally back to teaching full time at the daycare, and since I work the morning shift tomorrow I'll actually have an evening free.  What an amazing thing!

(Also forgot to mention that on Tuesday of last week, R-kun came back for a visit!  Last time he visited was back in October.  He's now 3-years-old, and has changed so much!  His hair was quite short- an actual boy's cut.  He had really mellowed out too, and while he didn't play much with the other kids (he spent most of the time playing with me, which made me really happy! ^^) he was very nice with offering toys to the other kids, or when one of the other kids would come and snatch a toy off him he would just kind of shrug it off and play with something else, when before he would've started crying and making a scene!  He has a baby sister now too, only 2 months old.  Seems he's shaping out to be a good big brother.  :) )

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