The other day I was trying, with minimal success, to help one of my ESL first graders write a story about what she did on vacation. But I kept getting distracted by what I could see out of the corner of my eye: Edward and Andre clowning around and getting into minor squabbles with each other over such earth-shattering matters as who had the taller pencil. So because I am extremely meddlesome, I kept warning them to get back to work.
Finally I could take it no longer. I got up from the tiny stool on which I had been perched, marched over to them and fixed them with my best gimlet-eyed glare. "Do you know," I said icily, "how much time I am wasting when I keep asking you to be quiet?"
Andre had the good grace to look slightly chastened. But Edward blinked up at me, opened his mouth, and said:
Uh... "A hundred what?" I said, exasperated. He blinked again.
"A hundred times?"
Oh. Hmm. I really couldn't argue with that logic, so I just bit back a laugh and slunk away.
* * *
One of my favorite "special" kindergarteners is a chubby, rotund boy with glasses whose speech is often hard to understand. This morning we all sat down at the meeting area and he piped up with something I couldn't quite catch. It took a few repetitions and some deciphering on my part, but I finally figured out what he had said: "Cute hair, Miss Brave!"