Show and tell is a favorite among Kindergartners. They can't wait to bring in something from home to share with their peers. These days we have strict criteria for what qualifies as show and tell, but when I first started teaching, I pretty much gave the children free reign to bring in toys, objects, etc.

One year really sticks out in my memory. A little boy had raided his Dad's briefcase before he left for school. He was proud of his Dad and wanted to show off something that belonged to him. He got up in front of the class and said he wanted to show a card his Daddy had in his briefcase. It was a very explicit greeting card  complete with a picture of the X rated nature and I quickly snatched it up and asked him if his Mom knew he had taken the card. I asked him if his Mother or Dad knew that he had brought the card and he confessed that they did not. The first sentence that the child's father had written inside the card made me blush and I quickly closed it. I got on the phone and called the child's Mom and told her about the card.

To my amazement, she was at my classroom door asking for it in a very short time. When I handed it to her and she opened it, she looked furious. Thinking she was upset with me, I told her that I was sorry but that I  thought she hadn't known that her son brought it to school and was sure she would want to know about it.  She looked up and said "This card isn't addressed to me!!! and stormed off. Dumbfounded, I went back into the classroom. Sure enough, when my assistant and I checked the child's information sheet, his mother's name was different than the one the card was addressed to. I felt so bad about that and have no idea what the outcome was.

Note to sure to screen items your child brings in for show and tell.

As a  beginning teacher, I remember that I didn't make much money. Since my husband was in graduate school, I decided to work at a local department store over the Christmas holidays one year to supplement our income. I remember being assigned to work in  the gift wrapping department which featured long lines of harried shoppers eager to get their purchases wrapped so they could go home.

One afternoon, I saw one of my kindergarten students and her mother standing in the back of my line. The child's mother was a beautiful woman who was very involved in various community organizations. It was evident that she always took great pains with her appearance.  My little student cheerfully waved at me as she and her mother moved closer and closer to the front of my line. When there was only one person standing in front of them, she proudly announced to me "Guess what Mrs. B! I have head lice." When I looked up after finishing the package of the person in front of them, they were gone! I caught a glimpse of the mother pulling the child by the arm through the nearest store exit. I guess she decided to wrap the presents herself.

In my Monday post, I blogged about a snake in my terrarium. So, I thought that before I move off of the topic of snakes, I ought to share one more noteworthy story with you in honor of the letter N for Alphabet Thursday!

In one school I worked in, the staff had carved an elaborate nature trail out of the woods located directly beside it. The older students took great pains to maintain the trails that wove through thick woods. One October I got a new kindergarten student from New York. Evidently our school didn't appeal to her because once the Principal had introduced us; she took off out the door after her departing mother screaming at the top of her lungs. The Principal and secretary helped the Mother untangle herself from this child that had grabbed her by one of her legs and was holding on for dear life.

Once the Mother had left campus, I thought things would calm down and we could resume instruction. I was wrong. All of a sudden the child jumped up from her new seat screaming and charged for the door. I had my assistant call the office and I went running after her. The Principal joined me as we hot footed it after this little girl. For a five year old, she was quite a runner. I had no doubt that we had a future Olympian on our hands. After thirty minutes, the Principal and I were exhausted. More teachers joined the search but try as we might, we could not catch that child. My Principal threw up his hands in despair.

I had an idea. I screamed at the top of my lungs "Look Out! It's a snakeeeeeeeeeee!" That child came tearing out of those woods and ran straight into my arms. I wanted to tell the Principal to close his mouth as he stared in awe, but I knew that would sound disrespectful. Instead, I told him that chances are those woods were full of snakes. Did the child go back to the classroom and adjust nicely? No, but at least she never ran away again!

One of  the little boys in my class wrote a love note to a little girl in the class. When my assistant found it in his locker, she asked him if he planned to give the note to the girl. "NO" he replied. "No way." She told him that she could tell he had spent a lot of time on it and that he ought to go ahead and give it to the little girl. He was adamant that he did not want to give it to her. My assistant told his mother about it and she laughed and laughed. She told us that he said that he didn't want to give it to the little girl because another boy likes her too. "I have to get him out of the way first" he told his Mom. We are talking five years old here and this little boy is beyond adorable. Out of the mouths of babes.....!

I just got home from our annual Spring program. In the middle of the program, one little boy in another class stood up and said " Mrs. B, I really have to go to the bathroom! Like right now!!!! I held it for six songs and I can't hold it anymore!  That is the last of my noteworthy tales!

Okay, I have to confess, I was so tired after school yesterday that I went to bed early. I am going to post a quick saying by one of my students and then give out some awards! Yesterday  a parent  volunteer was writing with one of my students when she looked down at his shoes and said "I used to have a pair of shoes just like that when I was a little girl!" My little charge looked up at her with alarm and replied "Oh no, did these used to be yours?" He has an older brother and obviously is used to hand me downs.

I got four awards from some of my blogging buddies recently. Amy over at Chapters of Me gave me the Honest Scrap award last Thursday. You need to go check out her blog. She and her family are about to embark on building a new home and they are so excited about it!

So, the rules for this award are pretty simple...I need to list 10 things about myself and then pass the award along to 10 friends.

1. I am an older than dirt Kindergarten teacher with a 21 year old daughter, a husband and a dog named Pumpkin.

2. I have been married for 34 years to my sweet and patient husband. He just passed  his Pro certification in tennis and plays in lots of tournaments. He got laid off in November 2009 after 27 years.

3. I have been in education for 34 years. I currently teach in a wonderful private Christian K-12 school and have 16 adorable students!

4. I love to draw. I was a double major in Art and English in undergraduate school. I especially enjoy doing portraits.

5. I call my daughter our miracle baby. I had three miscarriages prior to her birth.

6. I will never win any awards for my cooking. Even my dog turns her nose up at it. That's sad.

7. I love to have an end of the year party for my students. It used to drive my daughter crazy but now she likes to come and help.

8. I love to eat.

9. I love my job!

10. I broke my hip four years ago when I grabbed a child to keep him from falling down a steep flight of stairs. I stopped him and then I went down and heard a crack!

So, now I need to pass this award on to ten other fantastic bloggers.

Tree at Mother of Pearl
Shell at Things I Can't Say
Sienna at Hon, What's For Dinner?
Dustine at Must Be Miracles
Robyn at One of the Jones
Ms. A at Ms. Anthropy..Sarcastic Granny
Debbie at It's Complicated
Theresa at Substitute Teacher's Saga
Karen at Kbladosdesign 
Jenny at Jenny Matlock

My three blogger friends Sienna, Robyn and Glenda 09 gave me the Sunshine award. I am very excited about it. Now, I get the privilege of passing it on to 12 of my favorite bloggers. This is the hardest task. So many to choose from.

And the award goes to...
1. Vicky at Frugal Mom Knows Best
2. Amy at Chapters Of Me
3. Crystal at Soup Baby
4. Andrea at Arise2Rite
5. Bernie at On My Own
6. Kristen at A Teacher's Faith
7. Jamie at Pure Joy
8. Stacey at Daily Gems From God's Jewelry Box
9.Coreen at Velvet Over Steel
10. Heather at Shhh...Mommy's Hiding
12. Marla at Butts and Ashes

Now you have to find twelve of your favorite blogs to pass this award onto! Good luck.

I am beyond excited. Tree from Mother of Pearl made this button for me. Is it not the most precious thing you have ever seen????? I can't thank her enough for doing this! I was joking around in a post when I asked her about doing one for me several weeks ago.....and she actually did it!!!!! I am sending her family a gift card in appreciation for her time. She didn't ask for one but I would love to treat her as much as this was a treat for me. If you all visit her blog today, ( and I hope you do) please tell her thank you for me!

                                             I am dedicating this post to this very sweet lady!!!!!!

When I first started teaching, teacher salaries  barely covered the bills. I guess that is one thing that hasn't changed much in the last thirty years. Since my husband was working on his Master of Public Administration degree at N.C. State after we first got married, I would always try to find a job during the summer to supplement our income.

One summer, I remember getting a job as the Art Director  at a local day camp. The Nature Director was also a relatively new teacher who worked in the same school I did and asked if he could borrow my classroom terrarium to use for the summer. It was housed in an old aquarium and it really looked great. I had spent a lot of time and effort on it collecting various plants and I was very proud of it. He promised to treat it with care and return it to me in good condition.

Before I knew it, camp was over and  it was time for another new school year to begin. I retreived my  terrarium from the science director and took it back to school where it had a place of honor in my science center. My assistant at that time was a middle aged woman who was extremely overweight. She was also one of the sweetest, most child oriented people I had ever met. She was very efficient and dependable and I really enjoyed working with her. 

One morning, as I was up at the board teaching math, my assistant was diligently watering the plants  in the terrarium with her green plastic watering can. All of a sudden, she let out a blood curdling scream, threw her plastic watering can straight up in the air, and ran out the door screaming "snaaaaaaaaakeeeeeeeeeeeeee"!!! A few children unlucky enough to be sitting nearby got a second morning shower. Her screams immediately threw the children into a panic and they started screaming too. Once I had  finally picked my jaw up off the floor, I calmed the children down and  lined them up single file to herd them out the door. I found my assistant cowering outside in the hall. She started waving her arms frantically saying that there was a snake in the terrarium and that she was terrified of snakes. Sure enough, when I went back in the classroom and looked, a baby snake was meandering around the plants spitting its baby tongue out at me.  It turns out that my dingy nature friend had kept snakes in my terrarium during camp unbeknown to me.  Not only did he forget to mention that minor little detail, one of them laid some  eggs. It seems that one  had hatched over the  long labor day weekend and my assistant saw it poke its little head up at her when she stuck her hand in to water the plants.

I pushed the intercom button to ask for the custodian to come and help me asap. He was built like a lumberjack and I figured he could take care of the problem pronto. When he arrived and heard what had happened, he got a funny look on his face. He went into the classroom carrying a broom  slowly easing his way up to the terrarium in a crouched position. I am still not sure what exactly he planned to do with the broom but whatever it was, it went the way of the watering can. as soon as he saw the snake. I thought my assistant had run fast but when the he got a look at the snake, he threw the broom to the side and took off running too. He evidently was as scared of snakes as she was. I ended up having to pick up the  terrarium  and  take it outside to dump everything out of it. I figured it wouldn't be worth taking a chance on any more little friends  popping up unexpectedly. Besides, I wanted my assistant to keep working with me and she said it was either her or the terrarium. I didn't have to think twice about that!

The picture below was taken that summer when we had an "art show" for the parents at camp at the end of the six weeks. Little did I know what would be coming back to school with me in the fall.

Epilogue: I think my nature director finished a new terrarium for me around November. You didn't think I was going to let him get by without replacing it, did you? See what you are missing by not teaching kindergarten!