Shy Town

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 29 2012

I lost my voice

You know, because I wash my hands 6x more a day, I have gotten sick. That’s logical, right? Not.

I get it, children have a million new germs on them that I’m not exposed to and now that I’ve been exposed to them, they’ve infected me and brought me into their germy little world. It’s like a “We’re glad you’re here!” gift…in a semi-twisted way. They’re too cute to let it be their fault I suppose.

So anyways, I woke up yesterday morning with absolutely no voice, when yesterday I had all of my voice and was planning my story time with my kids. So my collab had to make a quick change at 7:30 am and figure out how to do storytime with my really quiet voice. Since I’m the only member with storytime training (you didn’t know you had to be specially trained to read a story? Well you do.) I had to proceed and so we planned to be just straight up with our kids and say, “Ms. Olivia is kinda sick today, can we be extra quiet and use little voices so we can hear her?” It worked like a dream. All the kids whispered their responses during storytime, they raised their hands more than usual, and called out their answers less. It was great until my collab members who were perfectly healthy spoke to them, and then all hell broke loose and the kids new that they could start yelling and using their big voices and there was nothing I could do about it.

I felt pretty unsupported in circumstances like that and it was bad news bears. But there was nothing I could do. Well, not nothing. I perfected the “stern teacher” look and beckoned a lot of children to me with a look and my pointing finger so we could talk about their inappropriate behavior in hushed “small voices”. Maybe I should just communicate in non-verbal gestures and facial cues for the rest of institute it seems to work pretty well. I know it was an unexpected surprise to my collab that I couldn’t talk but I thought it would mean we’d work extra hard to make sure everything went smoothly. That wasn’t exactly the case. I guess this kinda goes back to how I said a lot of people come into this not realizing how much group work is involved and then they try to assert their independence during times when all I need is teamwork and someone following the plan.

One Response

  1. As you add tricks to your repertoire, don’t exhaust them! Save the hushed voices for those days when you are sick because your kids will know it and they’ll follow your lead!

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Little kids, big city, one me.

Early Childhood

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