Friday, September 3, 2010

Welcome to Third Grade

Caroline's school held their open house yesterday afternoon. It provides the kids with the opportunity to meet their new teacher, see their desk, drop off school supplies and, in Caroline's case, SOCIALIZE. This one hour open house is the highlight of the back to school experience. It's fun to see your friends in the school setting, without the burden of actually having to learn something. Once Tuesday rolls around, the thrill of a new school year will quickly start to fade. The first week is fun; the pencils are all sharpened and the folders aren't curled up around the edges. I always loved the first week of school; new shoes and clothes, everything so neat and tidy. While Caroline protests, I think she likes school, too. I try to remind her that it's entirely acceptable to admit her love for learning, to unleash her inner nerd. NERD is not a four letter word, you know.

Anyway, third grade is going to be a whole new ball game this year. On top of having more homework and the added pressure of standardized testing, Caroline's teacher is a dude! He's very nice and I've heard great things about him, so we're all happy with this year's teacher assignment.

I had two male teachers during my elementary school days: Mr. McCallion in fourth grade and Mr. Ginsberg the next year in fifth grade. Mr. McCallion was as old as dirt; seriously, he must have been in his late 60s. Or perhaps, to my 10 year old self, he just seemed that old. I guess I'll never really know. What I do know is that he had a little refrigerator in our classroom and ate cottage cheese out of the container every day at lunch. It was also rumored that he kept alcohol in that mini fridge, but I'm sure that really was just a rumor. Although, if I were as old as dirt and had to deal with a classroom full of obnoxious fourth graders, a little nip in the afternoon doesn't seem so egregious.

I don't remember learning ANYTHING in fourth grade. We brushed and flossed our teeth every day after lunch and once a week (on Wednesdays) we received fluoride treatments. During read aloud time, (I remember, among other books, he read us "Sounder") we used the dental floss to play Cats in the Cradle. By the middle of the year, he caught us and said "now I know where all the dental floss has disappeared to." Needless to say, we didn't play Cats in the Cradle after that.

That is pretty much all I remember from fourth grade.
Mr. Ginsberg was much younger than Mr. McCallion. He was dad aged and had two young girls of his own. I liked fifth grade much better EXCEPT for the fact that he made us watch opera. Seriously. We had to watch opera. Ugh. On the bright side, we also got to watch The Voyage of the Mimi and Anne of Green Gables. That still didn't make up for the opera we were forced to view.

Since we've already met Caroline's first dude teacher, I can safely say that he is not old, nor does he appear to be a lush. He may like cottage cheese, though; and hopefully not opera.

The kids have one more weekend of freedom. One more weekend to bask in the joys of schedule-less living. One more weekend before all the fun ends and my fun begins.

I already finished my weekend assignment:

Forms, forms, forms.

At least it's simple stuff. To be honest, I'm a bit worried about third grade math. I may be a nerd, but a math nerd I am not. It's a good thing I have Caroline here to explain it all to me.

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