This morning, an old friend of my family (who happens to be the assistant superintendent of the entire county's department of education) came to visit our program. He spent a long time in my classroom, accompanied by a colleague of mine. They watched as we did our first science lesson with real, live caterpillars. I knew I was doing a good job, I could just tell. I was relieved. After they had stayed for about thirty minutes, they left to go see some other classrooms.
When they came back, it was five minutes before recess, and my colleague took advantage of the down-time to introduce the visitor to the kids. She said: "We have a special visitor today. He knew Mrs. B when she was just a baby. He's known her whole family for a long time". Then she started talking about the fact that I'm not originally from California, and that I lived in a country far away. She had the kids guess which country. Someone said "New York". Someone else said "Las Vegas". [Meanwhile, I was thinking: It's time for a geography unit!]. My colleague tried to clarify. She pointed to the flag and she said: "It's somewhere where they don't say 'I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America'".
There was a moment of silence, then one student enthusiastically shouted "TEXAS!!"
When we had finally established that I had lived in France, she started talking about how I could speak French--she related it to the students in my classroom who speak Spanish at home. The kids wanted to hear what French sounded like, so I rattled off a few sentences. As all of this new information about their teacher sunk in, one student bemoaned: "Why didn't you tell us?"
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