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Published on 05.08.11 11:27 Age: 8 yrs
Category: Susanna's World

Letters : 6229 Words : 1191

By: The Administrator

It's Susanna's first morning as a teacher.

I woke up much earlier than I would have hoped, but sadly, Tom was already in my living room to film my day. It seems there is no way to escape from my cameramen.

I wished him a good morning, but he reminded me to ignore him as much as possible.

I hate breakfast, well, two toasts and a glass of orange juice, and in silence thought of my upcoming day in school.

It wasn't so much the fact that it was a naturist school that scared me but rather the idea that I had a multi-level class with students of all ages.

I had the student files for each of the 14 kids on my kitchen table. I spread them and realized it might not be as bad as I would have thought.

The oldest, Sally and Isabelle, were identical twin girls in 5th grade and Jeremy was roughly the same age. That meant that I had 3 solid students to help me with my tasks. All three had very good grades so far and were judged to be responsible.

I didn't have any 4th grade student, which was odd, but I had five 3rd grade students, three boys and two girls. That left me with three 1st and 2nd grade students, many of which were younger siblings of my older students.

There was a lot of literature on integrating a 1st and 2nd grade because in both cases, the kids mainly have to learn how to read, count and write. The 1st graders learn how to print letters and in 2nd grade, how to write in cursive.

The exercises might have differences, but it all boiled down to roughly the same curriculum but with different objectives.

Third grade was a lot harder, with more grammar rules and more importantly, multiplications and divisions as well as more advanced geometry. The fifth grader would also have different material but they were also more mature, hopefully making it better.

As soon as a plan had formed in my mind on how to tackle the class, I picked up my files and promptly left for the school, not even bothering to brush my teeth or take a shower. I was focused on my task and didn't care about anything else. I didn't even solve the problem of the lock on my door and simply left the front door unlocked.

Plus, it's not like I really needed to pack a lunch anyway: the school was a two minute walk from my house!

The school wasn't locked either. I began wondering if in this place theft simply didn't exist, but I quickly discovered an envelope in my desk with the key, so I could lock up behind me.

The key was attached to a pink spiral coil keychain and I realized that without pockets, this would probably prove very useful.

I separated the student desks per group: the three desks for the 5th graders were placed at the back and were facing each other so they could work together.

Peter, the naturist cameraman joined Tom and I in the mean time, providing a second angle to my actions.

The five 3rd grader desks were placed on the side of the room, side by side on a line, facing the center of the room, where I installed the remaining desks, all facing the board in three rows: the 1st graders on the left, the 2nd graders on the right.

I took the time to make small paper tents with the grade numbers but didn't want to force kids I didn't know yet to pick their individual seats.

Once I was satisfied, I wrote my name on the board and sat at my desk to review the programs.

Sally and Isabelle arrived first with their 2nd grader brother Jimmy and I welcomed them, pointing them to their respective desks. I quickly noticed that they had brought small towels to sit on and excused myself while I ran home, followed by Peter in tow.

At my house, I retrieved a small towel and noticed that on the kitchen counter there was the key to my house.

By the time I got back, a few of the other students had arrived, each calmly taken their place like clockwork.

Many of the kids were engaged in discussion about their week-end and I mentally made a note of their personalities as they freely socialized.

When Jeremy and his 3rd grade sister Elaine joined us, the class was full and I presented myself officially.

It was the first time I was addressing my class and it scared me a little, but the worst was the two cameras I had tried to block all day.

My first words were bound to be televised and I wanted to feel confident and proud to be nude in front of these full-time naturist kids.

"As you know kids, I will be your teacher for the next few months. I have to teach to 4 different grade levels and most of the time, the 3rd and 5th graders will work on their own or in teams on pre-assigned tasks while I help the 1st and 2nd graders. However, it won't always be the case. I propose that school simply ends an hour later each day, Monday to Thursday. The first graders will stay on Monday, the second grader on Tuesday, the third graders on Wednesday and the fifth graders on Thursday."

I sat on my desk, something I was often criticized for during my various internships and began a class discussion on how we should proceed for the day.

Each step of the way, I guided them but they were the ones with the ideas of the games on how to get to know each other better.

Jeremy proposed the head card game on which we each had the name of one of the other person in the class and with yes and no answers, we had to guess who it was.

We laughed a lot and I got to know a lot of personal details on each of the kids such as what their favourite games and school subjects were.

I also discovered that some of the kids have siblings in other schools who were either too old or not disciplined enough to attend our class.

But what surprised me the most was that in today's age of single kids, not a single student in my class was the only child in their family. Most of the kids had a brother or a sister in the class, meaning that our of 14 kids, I only had 7 families to deal with.

Sadly, soon enough, it was time for lunch. Many of the kids had brought a lunch box, but some had the luck of being able to eat at home with one or both of their parents.

I left briefly to grab something to eat at my house and joined the students on a picnic table not far away from the school.

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