Day 1 – September 1
Nick’s Point Of View
I made it in the Finch Learning Academy at exactly seven thirty five. I knew I would be late. It was quiet in the halls. No children were to be found. I quickly made my way to the office. A few of the women stopped and stared at me. Some smoothed their clothes and smiled at me. I pushed down my sunglasses and gave them my trademark smile. The older lady at the desk gave a quick glance and stood up.
“May I help you sir?” She asked seriously.
“Yes, I’m here to volunteer in Miss Caitlin Abbott’s room.”
“Oh, you’re the celebrity that beats up people. Let me call her up. Have a seat.” She was not impressed with me what so ever. I found it refreshing in an odd sort of way.
I sat down and waited for Miss Abbott. I tried to picture in my head. She was probably in her late fifties with gray hair in a bun, thick glasses and orthopedic shoes. Most kindergarten teachers were like grandmas. They wore long dresses with orthopedic shoes. Most likely she never married and lived with ten cats.
“Excuse me, Mr. Carter. Welcome to Finch Learning Academy. I’m Miss Caitlin Abbott.”
Wow! She was nothing like I pictured her. First she was young. I would say that she was in her mid to late twenties. She had shoulder length brown hair and beautiful light blue eyes. She was dressed in a pair of khaki capris with a cute green top. I was clearly wrong about kindergarten teachers. I think I was going to enjoy my time in kindergarten.
“It’s nice to meet you Miss Abbott. I’m Nick Carter.”
“I know who you are.” She said clearly annoyed that I was helping in her room. “Don’t expect special treatment from me or the children. They don’t know who you are.”
I nodded my head.
“Well, let’s go down to the room and get you started.”
On the way down to her room, she showed me the gym, cafeteria, art lab, music room and the playground. The school was impressive. If my school was that nice I might have enjoyed school better.
“Here is our room. Feel free to look around for a bit. I’m going to a meeting and should be back before the kids get here. If they arrive, have them sit in their seats and work on a coloring sheet.”
I walked around the room; everything was decorated in primary colors. I never knew so many things came in red, yellow and blue. It was definitely not stylish. There were many centers for the students including a writing center, art center, dramatic play center, listening center, computer center and a bunch more. I wondered how many kids were in this class, if she needed all these centers.
The sound in the hallway got pretty loud. I peeked out and saw tiny kids putting backpacks and lunchboxes in their lockers. Shit, I thought she would be back by now. I had no clue how to interact with these little munchkins.
“Who are you?” A tiny girl asked me.
I bent down next to her and was still a good five or six inches taller than her.
“My name is Mr. Carter. I’m helping in your classroom.”
“You are not dressed correctly. We aren’t allowed to wear jeans to school. You’re going to get in trouble.” The girl ran to her seat to get away from me. I guess she didn’t want to get in trouble, like I was for my outfit.
A few more students walked in the room and sat down at their tables. They were working quietly.
“I got to go to the bafroom.” A little boy stood at his seat doing the potty dance.
“Go ahead.” The boy started running to the bathroom.
“Mister, he didn’t show you the symbol for the bathroom. You can’t go to the bathroom without the hand symbol. Miss Abbott says we’ve got to follow the rules.”
“Little boy come here.” He ran back to me and continued to do the potty dance.
“Can you show me the symbol?”
He made a peace sign, with his index and middle fingers. Then he ran to the bathroom.
The tiny girl tapped me on the leg.
“Mr. Carter, we are not allowed to run in the classroom. It is against the law. We are to walk at all times except in gym class or on the playground.” She informed me. What kind of rule was that? What if there was an emergency and you need to run quickly out of the room.
“Thank you for letting me know. Why don’t you finish your coloring?”
I watched as the kids kept coming in. The noise level in the room rose to a level I had never heard before. Even the screaming fans didn’t sound this loud. Two boys were running around chasing each other. A girl was sitting in the dramatic play center picking her nose and eating it. I knew that something should be done, but I had no clue. I just stood and watched; maybe this was a normal occurrence in the morning. I was clueless.
“If you can hear Miss Abbott clap one time.” The students clapped one time.
“If you can hear Miss Abbott clap two times.” The students clapped two times and it was silent in the room.
I was amazed at how well the students listened to their teacher. They quickly went to their seats and got to work. Miss Abbott looked at me with annoyance. I think she thought I caused all of the chaos. I was helpless and knew nothing about kids. I had a feeling this was going to be the longest year of my life.
“Mister could you please tie my shoe?” A small blond boy asked.
I bent down and tied his shoe. These little shoelaces were sure hard to tie. I couldn’t believe people expected little kids to be able to do that. He smiled at me and went back to his seat.
“Good morning Miss Abbott. Mr. Carter doesn’t know any of our class rules. He broke almost all of them. I don’t think he belongs here.”
“That’s enough Anastasia. Mr. Carter is a grown-up, please treat him respectfully.” She gave the girl a look of warning. I think Anastasia was overstepping her boundaries.
I smiled at the tiny girl and she stuck her tongue out at me. I stuck my tongue out at her.
“Anastasia that is enough. Mr. Carter, we don’t stick our tongues out at children.” She gave me the teacher look.
I was with these children for fifteen minutes, and I didn’t think I was going to survive the year.