SOLC9: Rule

March 9, 2016

“I hate that rule!” he yelled, arms folded and face scrunched up. “That’s stupid and everyone is trying to get me in trouble!”

I listened and nodded, motioning for him to follow me. This first grader struggles.

At the beginning of the year, the outbursts happened several times during the day and there was no relationship. Today, he was mad but willing. He yelled, but know I understand. Fewer words needed to be spoken at this moment, but much was being thought. What happened this time? What does he really mean? How can we get him calmed down and back to class? How can he understand school is about everybody, not just him? What happened last night? How can I help him detach the two?

He walked with feet stomping and a kick or two on the lockers. Frustrated. Time never goes quickly in these situations. It seemed to take forever to get to my room, but at least he was walking. We’ve been through this before.

Thirty minutes later, tears, Kleenex, more yelling, more crying, head down. Quiet. Time. Face calm. We talked. I listened. He understood. Apology ready, we headed back. Quick hug and he went settled in to his desk.

I’m a reading interventionist. I teach kids to recognize sounds and how those sounds create words. That process takes time and is rewarding.

I’m a teacher. I teach kids to get along, follow rules, apologize. I’m safe. I parent. I smile. I care.

Tomorrow, he may melt down again. But he may laugh and read and sneak a quick hug. That process takes time and is definitely rewarding.

SOLC8: Hugs

March 8, 2016

“Hi Mrs. Gensch,” a young voice calls, hand waving furiously down the hall. I smile and return the wave. Students are coming into the school, some moving so quickly down the hallway I wonder if their feet touch the floor. Why the hurry? Others mingle around talking to friends.  I continue on to my way, thinking through the last minute items to be completed, my attention not focused on any one place as my legs automatically walk me to my room.

Thwaup! Something has attached itself to my leg. Looking down out of my gaze, my surprise turns to a smile. Two little arms are wrapped tight around me. “Good morning,” the head says looking up at me. I smile. Forget the to do list. This moment is for savoring. “Are you taking me today?” the little one says. I smile and nod in reply. “I will see you this afternoon.” With a wave, she skips off to her kindergarten room.

Best start to the morning!

SOLC: Kindergarten Excitement

March 27, 2015

Kids were definitely excited about their upcoming spring break, including my own children.

One of my kindergartners said they were going to a hotel “with a great big pool to go swimming in.” Pete’s excitement continued to grow, eyes widening as he continued telling me about the trip.

“Yeah. The best thing about the hotel is that it has a hot tub. And you know what, Mrs. Gensch, it is really HOT!” I tried to stifle a laugh. “It is sooo hot, my body gets hot.”

I wonder if that is why it is called a hot tub?!

SOLC: Laughed Out Loud

March 4, 2015
Moo loves to explore with me. He was looking over the edge and then slid right in.

Moo loves to explore with me. He was looking over the edge and then slid right in.

Today has been a more difficult day. I needed a pick-me-up, so I decided to read some of my cards from the Sunshine Box I received from school friends.

One card from a kindergartener had a detailed cover. Nice.



The young kindergartener is usually serious and likes to do his own thing at times. During group time, I usually can give him my teacher look, say his name, to which he replies in a okay-I-will-stop-sing-song voice, “Oh, allll riiiight.”

Opening his card, I cracked up laughing. I can just hear his voice saying what he wrote. Soup, yes! Coffee??? okay. I laughed out loud so hard. The power of the written word!

Get well soon - with soup and coffee!

Get well soon – with soup and coffee!

Kids {Celebrations}

November 9, 2014

20140531-222133-80493943.jpgKids. Students. Munchkins. They are more than part of our job. They are little people we love, invest, and inspire each day.

I am celebrating the hugs from Isabella, the smiles from Chris, and the anticipation from Felicity.

I am celebrating the light-bulb igniting in Keegan, the triumph in Howie, and the trust in Jade.

I am celebrating the knowledge gained in Aiden, the horse-telling stories from Ariah, and the spur of the moment hug from Xander.

One moment this past week made my day. I wrote his comment down immediately. George knew he made me feel special that day and I appreciated it.

We were working on learning the difference the silent e makes in words, changing from a short vowel sound in a CVC word to a long vowel sound in a CVCe word. After seeing the difference between words, the kids began to write the words: cap to cape; hop to hope; Sam to same. They were hearing the 3 sounds but kept forgetting the silent e. All of a sudden, George’s eyes lit up. “I got it!” and he wrote the word fine instead of fin.

I smiled and replied,”How did you get so smart?”

Pointing at me smiling, George said, “Because I have a such a great teacher!”

SOL: Who Signed Me Up for This?

August 23, 2011

School has begun. The first day of school I spent some time helping in a kindergarten class. The students were putting their supplies and beginning a coloring paper at the table. One little boy kept getting out of his seat and walking around. On Back to School Night, he had introduced himself to his teacher. “I Dominick. I 5. I run” and proceeded to run around the class.

After thirty minutes into class, the teacher had the children on the carpet, reading a story. Little Dom got up, tapped his teacher on the shoulder, and pronounced, “I done. You take me home now.”

I stifled a laugh.

After sharing the story with my senior son, he said, “He’s got a loooong educational career ahead of him.”

SOL 31: Kids Say the Cutest Things

March 31, 2011

I have had more fun with kindergarten kids this year. They say the cutest things.

Daily I work with two boys on language skills. We play the “wh” game. They roll the dice to correlating word cards. I ask a question that begins with who, what, where, when, why, or how.

Matt rolled a “who” question. I read: “Who is in charge of the school?”

Matt smiled and said, “Teachers.”

I said, “Okay. Teachers are in charge of children at school. Who is in charge of the teachers?”

The young boy thought and then smiled. “The janitor!”

Our PTO president was nearby and heard the comment. She turned and commented, “Well, I guess Mrs. I (our principal) does clean up messes.”

When I saw Mr. O, our custodian,  and told him about Matt’s comment, he said, “I wouldn’t want to clean up Mrs. I’s messes.”