08 November 2007

dress rehearsal

Days off from school are a mixed blessing. While it's great to have a day away, preparing for a sub is much more labor intensive than preparing myself for a day in the classroom. Everything has to be spelled out. You can't really introduce anything new. It's a struggle to find a balance of real work (as opposed to busy work) and sub-proof plans. I've been a sub. I was a highly -equested sub. I was a very good sub. But, here it's hard to find those kinds of subs.

I also have to prepare my kiddos. They're only seven. They worry tremendously if I'm not in plain sight as they walk up the stairs each day. If I've stepped into another classroom it's cause for alarm. So, not showing up all day with no prior warning would be very unsettling. (Besides, I have to give them that teacher-look and impress upon them that the rules of second grade are unchanged in my absence. They must still be kind and helfpul, respectful and responsible, building a good reputation for themselves, our class and our school. I don't care who is in front of the class, their behaviour must remain unchanged. I expect a good report on Monday.)

This afternoon I told my class that some of them knew and some of them didn't that I was in the middle of something very exciting. I was adopting a little girl from here in Russia who didn't have a family. I told them that tomorrow I would have to stay home so someone could see my flat and ask me some questions to see if I would be able to give a child a good home.

Suddenly the protests about my being gone and the claims that they wouldn't come either ceased. There was an uproar. (It was really snowing all day today, so we were close to the edge anyway. And one student had decided to be a mouse all day. This news just pushed us over the edge.) The classroom was buzzing. Most students were excited and all were curious. I got to practice answering questions that are likely to come up in tomorrow's visit from my own group of "international social workers" including:

  • Will she come to our school?
  • Why do you want to have a little girl?
  • Why don't you just get pregnant?
  • What will happen when you get married? Because, I mean, you will get married. And then you will have a baby. Or twins. Or triplets. And then you will have FOUR children!
  • When you have "your own" children, what will you do with the girl? (Think this questioner might be a future judge in Russian family court, perhaps?)
  • How old will she be?
  • Why didn't you want a baby?
  • Why a girl and not a boy?
  • She can't just stay home. What will she do when you are at school with us?
  • If she is not old enough for our school, where will she go?
  • What will you name her?
  • How will you teach her English?
  • How are your Russian lessons?
  • Will she sleep in your bedroom?
  • Do you have clothes for her?

And there were lots more... Some were concerned about why she didn't have a family. One child had very negative things to say about orphans and adoption. Most wanted to know about her--who she was, what she would look like, when they could meet her, if she could come to school the first day I had her, etc. Everyone was very excited to meet her. Meeee, too!

Big thanks to my second graders for the dress rehearsal today. ;>


Nataliya said...

Oh my, it was really a dress rehersal! I think your students are very sweet, and their questions are the ones you can be asked tomorrow...


Melissa said...

Wow! It sounds like you are now very well prepared!! :)

Deb said...

How fun to get all those questions from the kids. Good Luck!!
I'll be praying for everything to go well.

Lea said...

Wow, that is definitely preparation! They sound like a great group of kids. I hope your home visit goes very well.

Maggie said...

What cute questions!

Debi said...

and a dress rehearsal it was...they really do know what is happening...that one questioner will defiantly be working at the MOE someday...we got that exact question...EXACT

Tami said...

Well...now you're all practiced up and ready for tomorrow. How kind of them to give you a dress rehearsal! I can't wait to hear how it goes!

Suz said...

Oh Kate, I am so happy to hear that your hs update is finally here!!

I'm praying for you tonight as it is your tomorrow!!

By the way, your blog looks awesome in purple. You need to leave it this way!

Kay B said...

Kids are funny, huh? Kids at school consistently ask me 'How did Darya learn to talk like that?" They hear me talk to her in my little bits of Russian and they ask me if I am Russian too. Mostly they think it's cool to speak Russian and they want to learn too. If only they knew how hard it is.

Good Luck on your HS update!

Jennefer said...

What a big responsibility you have with all of those kids. I am sure you handled all of the questions well. They sound like great, curious kids.

I have been a sub before, so I am sure the sub will appreciate all of the work you are putting in to the lesson for her.

I hope your interview goes well!

Anonymous said...

break a leg! Be sure to take her to a nasty restaurant to ensure "the runs!"

Here's an idea...call Igor and say you've got a great English teacher for his daughter.

Rachael said...

Wow, you work with a tough crowd!

Best of luck with everything tomorrow.

votemom said...

awwwwwww.... this made me tear up. love you friend. and love your girl.

Melissa said...

i loved your kid's questions. too funny

Anonymous said...

That sounds like good prepration for the real thing! The triplets thing is just too funny!

Thinking of you as I'm going to bed and you've probably been up for a while. I hope all goes well. I'm sure it will!

yorkiemom said...

Sounds like you're really prepared. Can't wait to see how your visit really went.

kim said...

It is nice that you were able to address these questions before you left. Kids are the best!

votemom said...

i know she's there RIGHT NOW.... lifting you both up in prayer!

Anonymous said...

Thinking and praying for you this morning!

MoscowMom said...

I love their questions! Yes, kids will say anything... They must feel so special to have you share this personal information with them. I can just feel how many good goosebumps you got from that Q&A session. They obviously really care about you.

I've been thinking about you today and hoping it is going well!!!