Friday, January 8, 2021

School Teacher

 Tim drove up to our sawyer Levi's -place yesterday to pick up more batten boards for the garage. It surprised him to be greeted by name. 

A gaggle of kids from the Amish school ran up and down the hill with their sleds as the two of them compared deer hunting sagas. Levi wanted to know if we'd started on the greenhouse. Tim admitted that between the garage and two trees down on the old house and putting together his hunting shanty along with hunting season too, well...there had not been enough time to get that done. 

Levi laughed. "Well, we always got plenty of boards for something like that!" 

Tim headed home with his truckload of batten boards. He is going to run them to the retirement property today. Then he's going to drive the dump truck to pick up another load of bank gravel to dump on the floor of the garage. 

He'll have the day to himself. I can handle the morning school today. William has a math test, so I will not have to teach him anything new. If he keeps his wits about him, he'll do fine. If he dissembles and gets emotional, he'll flunk it. I've talked to him firmly about it, and we went to bed early last night to make sure he's well rested. 

While William is having his math test, I'll be free to help J with his language arts. He has a speech issue so phonics is a struggle for him. Something that works very well for him is incorporating physical activity into it. I write his reading words on index cards and he distributes them randomly on the floor. I call out words and he jumps from one card to the next, and then spells the word out loud. We do that for 10 minutes every morning and it's a relief to see that the words are retained in that little noggin.

I got a little sick when Tim announced he was being called back to work on Monday after his two month layoff, because quite honestly, I did not know how I was going to accomplish the necessary one-on-one time with both of boys, but I explained the situation to the teacher.  I suggested a few tweaks to  William's morning schedule, and his teacher made some accommodations, and between us, we've got something figured out that will hopefully work out. 

Much relieved, I said, "I'll be glad when they are back in school..." 

The teacher, a single mother herself said, "I don't know. I have enjoyed the time with my kids and this has relieved a LOT of stress at MY house."

Her house and my house are two different houses, that's for certain. 

Bob the bison will be going to school on Tuesday. In his 140 or so years of hanging around, this is a new thing for him.  

He will be the subject of a virtual field trip to discuss the clash of cultures between the Indian and the white man during the rush to build the first transcontinental railroad and the devastating impact on the plains Indians. William will be giving the talk as he stands on a small ladder beside Bob to give the kids an idea of the size of a buffalo. 

Late edit: William got a 93. 33 on his math test. We're both pretty tickled. I actually feel like I could cry. 


  1. I can imagine the single-mother mom has had some relief from stress during this time. My daughter and SIL, both elementary school teachers, would not be honest if they didn’t admit the time last spring, when they both got to be home with their little ones, was a gift to them. But they also know that, long-term, remote learning is not sustainable for their students, and they’re aware of the problems it creates for students who don’t have parents or grandparents who can help. They were more than willing to go back to the classroom when the time came.

  2. I can sympathize with both of you. When school here was cancelled back in March, we went from juggling things each week to simply being together at home and enjoying the simple things like cooking and eating together and such. But by the time last August rolled around, I was ready for the girls to get back to school so I could have some ME time. I have always been someone who needs time to himself and that is hard to get with two kids at home all day every day.

  3. I am sure that Bob will have a fruitful visit. Sounds like a good plan.

  4. I don't know how people with elementary age children are managing. It has been so stressful on the parents and teachers. And grandparents! Bob the Bison will be wonderfully educational.

  5. Bravo to William (and you!) for that excellent math score!

  6. Please write a post about the Amish Debby. They are amazing people.

  7. I think working from home and schooling at home are very different for lots of people. It's been a good experience for me - an hour a day not spent in the car, less stress.

    I think lots of things will and must "go back to normal" after all this but some things will have changed for the better and will stay that way. There is a whole category of jobs for which the whole concept of "going out" to work is just a habit formed in pre-internet days.

  8. It's great to be able to share in William's maths test success. I wonder how many parents helping children at home will feel inspired to go into teaching as a result of all this?

  9. Congratulations William on that maths score!! (as opposed to the reaction that is folklore in my family when a member got a test score in the nineties - "what did he get wrong?" - it has been used for several generations now, wasn't always in humour however)

  10. I can't imagine how I'd cope if I had to teach online, AND had children at home doing online schooling. That's a lot of work.

  11. Good job, William. And congrats to you as well for doing such a great job with him. I can't believe it has already been two months for Tim. Time is really flying. Take care.

  12. Well done all of you on learning and teaching.
    I wonder if William could teach you something - that could give him a different sense of achievement?

  13. Good for William! Congratulations! I taught first grade and can imagine how difficult it is for parents to have to help their children at home while taking care of everything else as well.


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