So many of my kids have such a different home life than I had growing up and, as a result, know a whole lot more about the world than I ever did at their age (or a lot older! haha). Because of some of the things I hear my kids talking about, sometimes I forget that they're only 9 years old. Today, though, my kids were given the privilege of getting the "anti-drugs and alcohol" talk from the guidance counselor. She was holding a Budweiser can when she walked in and had my students immediate, undivided attention. She proceeded to tell them about the Surgeon General, impaired judgment and other effects of drinking. Unfortunately, I had to make some copies, so had to leave the room and wasn't able to hear their comments on this topic. I walked back in right when she pulled out an empty cigarette box, though, and am so glad I did! She again talked about the Surgeon General and how cigarettes have been found to cause illness, etc. Then turned to the financial part of smoking. She wrote $3.00 on the board and told kids to pretend that was the cost of a box of cigarettes. She also said to pretend like the average smoker smoked a pack a day. So, do the math and that's $21/week. She shared that instead of smoking, she could go to the movies, go out to a restaurant, etc. Then, she decided to show them the savings over a month. $21x4=$84. All of a sudden, my students got so chatty and I remembered that I was surrounded by children. One student was talking about video games, another about how much money $84, and then suddenly really loudly I heard a student say, "With $84 you could adopt a dog at the SPCA and even buy it a leash!" Haha. Oh, the things that money can buy. (You can only imagine some of the ideas they had when she figured out that you could save $1,008/year by not smoking! Actually, I can't remember any off the top of my head.. they may have been unable to comprehend just how much money that is. Haha.)
Later on, another student raised his hand and asked "Well, if smoking is so bad for people, why don't they just stop selling cigarettes?" If that doesn't make a teacher PROUD, I don't know what would!! Haha. Now, if only we could somehow get some CEOs thinking like these little tykes. :)
Another moment today where I was reminded that I work with children was during Science. We started a new unit about Resources (natural vs. manmade, renewable vs. nonrenewable, etc). To introduce the unit, I used a powerpoint that was a "pop quiz"/introduction. It went through some questions about pollution and solar energy, etc. Then, the question came up that said,
"Which of the following can be used over and over again?"
b) Piece of paper
c) Toilet paper
d) Paper plate
It was supposed to be a 'raise your hand and answer' preview activity, but since I was excited to see the kids excited about the new topic, I didn't enforce that too much. So, a few kids start blurting out answers, and then I hear a boy say "toilet paper." Apparently, he was caught on the previous question that contained a "NOT." Anyway, there was no way I could not take this opportunity for a "teaching moment," so I ever-so-kindly looked at the kid and said, "Did you just say toilet paper can be reused?" Haha. Naturally, the entire class also looked at him and in unison said "EWWWWWWW" and then proceeded with laughter. Thankfully the boy wasn't embarrassed, but was actually looked at more as a hero/comedian. And, I doubt if my kids will ever have trouble remembering what sorts of items to "reuse," so it worked out well. My favorite moments of any day are definitely those when my whole class is laughing about something ridiculous.