Friday, February 4, 2011

Find the Fun in Your Day

It's a calm world, after all.  
For the past year, I've been making a point to write down the funny things my speech students say.  The simple act of listening for humor really gives me a happiness boost while I'm at work.   Just as taking photographs regularly helps me notice the beauty around me every day, paying attention to the funny things that happen each day helps me notice the fun parts of my job more, too.

Here are some of the best quotes I've heard this past year:

A student asked our autism support specialist why she was always going in and out of classes, and she replied that she worked with students with autism.  The next week, when he saw her in his classroom, he said, "You're the teacher who works with those awesome students!"

I was teaching a third grade girl about different professions, and I asked her what she thought I did for a job.  She replied, "Ms. Ragan, you just sit around and talk all day!"

When we asked a group of students in our social skills lesson what their biggest fears were, one third grader said, "My biggest fear is the public broadcast system."  (I think because of the "this is a test...." thing they do?   Too funny!)

Last year, one of the preschool boys I worked with looked angry when I picked him up for speech.  When I asked what was wrong, he said, "I had to sit by a girl at circle time.   I hate girls.  Except for you.  You're okay for a girl."

One of my fifth graders showed me his persuasive essay that he'd been working on for several weeks.  The title?  "Why every classroom should have a pet viper."  The supporting arguments?  "To scare away thieves, to keep pests like rats out of the school, and to teach students about science."  I have to admit that by the end, I was almost convinced.

I was getting ready to make pudding with one of my speech groups.  I said, "Okay, everyone.  We're going to make pudding today.  Look at this picture...we're making white chocolate pudding!"  To which one of the students replied, "Aww, man, why do we have to make healthy food?"

A mom of one of my speech students was showing her son a picture of me and my family from Facebook, and she asked him if he knew who I was.  He said, "Yeah.  She's the lady that helpth me with my etheth."

I asked one of my third grade students to pick a strategy to calm herself down.  She chose the "picture a calm, happy place," strategy.  I asked her to close her eyes and picture the place, to think of how it looked, how it felt, how it smelled, etc.  Then, I asked her to describe it to me.  "Well," she said, "it just smells like Disney and looks like Disney and feels like Disney, because it is Disney."

How do you make your workday more fun?

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