"My name is," I step over to the recent pair of newly purchased whiteboards, "M-i-s-t-e-r D-a-d. And I hope we can be really good friends this year, as we learn together."
"Ugh. Daaaad... Seriously," my 8 year old sassed.
"Why don't we just call you Mister Taylor like the kids from school did," said Jay, the youngest of the two.
"I'm just calling him Dad," Bear replied, "but he can still be the teacher."
I wanted to start the experience out on a lighter note, but from their reaction I saw this was indeed serious. So for the next year and a half, much of our learning was spent figuring out how to have fun, how to interact, how to make learning something interesting and worth retaining.
I had the advantage of previous employment as a lunchroom guy and playground guy at the kids' elementary. Between listening to teachers who felt that their hands were tied to the curriculum and watching all these kids get so much out of just by playing with each other, learning at home became very attractive. I had a second grade girl at the time who was bored to tears, and a first grade boy who's personality completely changed after being pulled from math/science skills--which he loved--to "reading retard" class. When it came time to withdraw, we had only kudos and support from the educators we knew there. Another good sign.
Now, as I assess things, my class is a good size, a workable ratio. As for Principal Mom, she makes sure we stay on learning more than field trips. To be honest, it's been the most difficult thing I've tried, next to... well, nothing. Plus, the paycheck has never been quite this petty. Then again, I don't have any withholding or social security to pay, thank God, and I'm up for teacher of the year for the second in a row. So there is a silverplated lining to it, after all.
Anyways, that's where it started. And following a bit of bumbling, juggling and drivelling over the last two years, I can finally write about it more clearly. Ergo, Said-Blog.