Just Another Day in the Classroom… Oh, Boy!

photo from Pixabay 

I often write about the great moments in the classroom, when a spark ignites and learning explodes, or when goodness, laughter, and discovery happen.

Every day is not like that.  Today was was one of those ‘not like that’ days.  By the time I arrived at 10:30 which is playground time, (my late day), enough had already happened.  My fellow teachers jokingly said, “Jennie, you have the children.  We are done.”  Of course they were kidding, but I got a good brief on the morning.  From teacher troubles with activities, to children troubles – no, it was not a good morning.

Back inside the classroom I did our Morning Meeting with the children, and I knew something had happened on the other side of the room.  My co-teacher had spilled paint all over herself trying to set-up the activity for the morning.  It was yet another ‘moment’ to add to the day.

I stood up and yelled to my co-teacher, “Heidi, this is for you.  Aqua Roomers, you will love this song.  Alexa, play “Mama Said.”

The Shirelles belted out the song, I grabbed Heidi’s hands and pulled her over to Morning Meeting with the children.  We sang and danced.

It was wonderful.

We scrapped the planned book for the day and knew the perfect one to read, instead:

Absolutely nothing goes right for Alexander.  Nothing.  When things can’t get any worse, they get worse.  It’s a classic, we haven’t read it in ages.  It was definitely meant to be the story today.

At nap time, we write a daily newsletter to families.  Here is what we said:

Today was one of those days where things were just not working out for the teachers.  Our art materials were in disarray when we tried collecting them, our stamp pads were not working well at first (they needed some drops of water), we spilled bright pink paint, we spilled play-dough containers and the covers went flying (as well as bits of play-dough), we misplaced parts of an activity, and the technology was being tricky.  However, as the song says, “Mama says they’ll be days like this!”  With a wack-a-doodle kind of day, we as teachers could not resist reading a classic and favorite: “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!”  We just laughed at ourselves most of the morning over it all.  It sure is the best being in the Aqua Room and having fun!

Never underestimate the power of a good song or a good book.  Never underestimate all the happens in the day of a child and a teacher.  In the words of Pete the Cat, “It’s all good.”


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in Book Review, children's books, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Inspiration, music, picture books, preschool, reading aloud, Singing, Teaching young children and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Just Another Day in the Classroom… Oh, Boy!

  1. Ritu says:

    Love how you turned it on its head, Jennie! ❤

  2. beth says:

    when someone asks why we consider teaching an art, this is the perfect example. sometimes you just have to let plans and ego go, and go with what they need.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, that’s exactly what we do. It takes some ‘practice’ to know the right time and moment – that’s one of the reasons teaching is an art. Thanks, Beth, as you know, this was one of those times.

  3. A great way to turn the tables on one of those days. But I think you may have left out one thing. hmmmmm …. How about the ability to laugh at yourself? Well done, Jennie!

  4. Wonderful how you turned your Day around Jennie…. Nothing beats a good Song and Good Story…. with Lessons learn by both Teachers and Students 🙂 Loved the introduction to Mama Said, and Alexander.. ❤ ❤

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Sue. I love those spontaneous moments in teaching. Yes, a good song and a good book can do wonders. I’m glad you liked the intro to Mama Said and Alexander. 😀

  5. Carla says:

    I love it! We all had Days Like That, and some people can roll with it, like you did, and others let it grind them down. I hope I can go with it as my life moves forward. Wonderful post, Jennie.

  6. Darlene says:

    You sure know how to turn a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day around, Jennie. Love Mama Said. RThanks.

  7. willedare says:

    Well done!!!! And hurrah for songs and stories that help us along…

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Will. You know how passionate I am about songs and stories. They make a world of difference. I wish you’d been a fly on the wall when I burst into Mama Says. 😀

  8. Brenda says:

    The ability to be reactive and flexible is so important. You have demonstrated adaptability and being able to think on your feet. On days like that we just have to go with the flow. We’ll done on getting everyone into a better place and headspace. Nor everyone can do that

    • Jennie says:

      Well said, Brenda, we have to go with the flow and think on our feet. Thank you for your kind words. Flexibility and being adaptive is what I strive to do. It does take experience.

      • Brenda says:

        Experience and confidence, Jennie. I think we take that for granted, I know I do. But having the confidence to change or do something different is an important aspect of success.

      • Jennie says:

        Yes, it is. And yes, we do. Confidence comes with experience. Best to you, Brenda.

  9. beetleypete says:

    That was the perfect book to choose to put it all into perspective, Jennie.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  10. Don Ostertag says:

    A song, a book, and lemons were made into lemonade. Nice work, Jennie.

  11. That’s a classic book in our family. I read it to the Grandson’s when they’ve had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. It does seem to cheer them up after reading it. 🥰 I’m glad it works for your Aqua Room kids too!

  12. You always know just what is needed. Love that book! A classic!

  13. Fraggle says:

    And that’s how to turn the day around!

  14. I love this post Jennie! Thank you! Things don’t always go right but with a song… we can go on.

  15. It is all good. Thanks for sharing, Jennie.

  16. quiall says:

    The bad days should be cherished as much as a good day. Especially if laughter sneaks in there somewhere.

  17. petespringerauthor says:

    Mama was right. The spilled paint brought back a hilarious teaching moment. We used to have an assembly each year right before the winter break. The cafeteria (which doubled as our room to hold assemblies was packed to the gills with parents and children since each class did some type of performance. The kids were grumpy, having to sit so long, and the parents were constantly blocking them, trying to get the perfect photo.

    Finally, we got smart and had two performances—one for the kids and one for the parents. On the day of the performance for the parents, each class would stay in their room until we were called out. Everyone got all the pictures they wanted without blocking any children. While waiting our turn, I got the “brilliant” idea to work with tempera paints on an art project. Two minutes before it was our turn, I had pressed the plastic bottle of paint for a child (there usually were wasteful, so I added paint as needed), and the bottle literally exploded. The front of my shirt was covered with paint. What happened? The show must go on. I walked my class out to introduce them for their song and had to explain my condition to the parents. Everyone got a good laugh at my expense.

  18. petespringerauthor says:

    * They usually were wasteful.

  19. jilldennison says:

    Some days, you just gotta ‘go with the flow’! Make the best of a bad situation and turn the frowns upside down! You did just that!

  20. willowdot21 says:

    Jennie your amazing attitude saved the day. When I look back on the really lousy days when the children were small I can see on retrospect it was my attitude that either saved or made the day worse a lesson truly learned . Bless you 💜

  21. Dan Antion says:

    That’s a great song, Jennie and a wonderful book for that kind of day. You’re the best.

  22. Resa says:

    Love that song. Love singing and dancing.
    You sound like a fab teacher.

  23. Opher says:

    That’s one of the great things about teaching – no days are the same!!

  24. Pingback: Just Another Day in the Classroom… Oh, Boy! – menthor of mind

  25. dgkaye says:

    And the book turned out to be the perfect tonic for the day ❤

  26. Hi Jennie, well done on turning a bad day into a learning experience.

  27. Pingback: Just Another Day in the Classroom… Oh, Boy! — A Teacher’s Reflections | By the Mighty Mumford

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