Today was kindergarten day for me. I simply don’t know how the teacher has enough energy to do her job every day. What energy! What creativity! What tenacity! I only go in Wednesday mornings; she’s there every day. Today’s lesson was on the letter “Q” (lower- and upper-case, thank you very much), and “same” number of things in a worksheet. The students had to trace the letter in both formats, then color them (some even stayed within the lines). After that, they had to count how many elephants, cars, and baseball gloves were on the left side of the page, write the number, then draw the same number of circles on the right side of the page.
She had them sit in a circle and discuss the concept of “same” and “different” when it comes to quantity. Two students had no finished their work; she sent them out of the circle and back to work with me. Both are native Spanish speakers at home; English is their second language. Before tackling the rest of their assignment, we had a discussion about why it’s great to know more than one language. One told me I was older than his abuela (grandmother) but that she has more wrinkles than I do (I loved that comment, even though it’s probably not true). He wanted to know why the skin on my forearm is wrinkly. “Because I’m old,” I told him, “but I told you that last week.” Both students laughed. “You did.”
They lined up for recess. I was exhausted. Their teacher, who has three kids of her own, gathered them up like a flock of sheep and shepherded them up the stairs. She waved goodbye and said thanks.
I went to my car and looked in the back seat, realizing that my next stop was my Wednesday afternoon tennis match. Time to hit a little caffeine (although I don’t drink coffee–a little diet soda would have to do) before I hit the court. My partner was someone I hadn’t seen in a long time, so it was a great reunion, a great match. Now I’m sitting at my computer, nodding in and out, recovering from an exhausting but productive day. It’s how all days should be. And right in the middle of the Australian Open, to boot!