today was class picture day. to sum it up i will quote jenny's tweet: When picture day falls during Teacher Appreciation Week there should really be margaritas in the teachers' lounge.
at 8:40 this morning i was standing in the gym with 18 kindergartners lined up from tallest to shortest. this in itself was a feat. there are the children who are completing 'kindergarten take 2' and so are very tall. obviously they're at the front, sticking out as the obvious, lovable, yet slightly out of it line-leaders. at the back we have the tiny little one, who the substitute ia yelled, "you're last because you're so small!" who is pouting at not only being short, but being forced to be the caboose. (a headstart teacher told me all of her children at the back of the line were upset because they didn't want to be called short.)
so we make it from the classroom to the gym staying in the order we lined them up, a miracle in itself. the photographer began to place them on the bleachers, which involved asking them to follow one step directions. not a strength for us. there was lots of repeating, prompting, modeling, and hands in the air for almost each and every child in order to the photographer to put them in the proper place.
then, he turned to walk back to his camera. that was his mistake.
feet move, bunny ears, pushing on the bleachers, falling on the bleachers, kicking, slouching, hand twirling, hands over ears, hands over eyes, frowning, teachers scowling.
so he came back to reposition us. and then turned his back to walk back to the camera.
every time he took a picture he'd let out a frustrated burst, "there's an arm up!" or "he wasn't looking" "put your arms down!"
i can't imagine what the final picture will look like. i am picturing three angry looking teachers giving the evil eye to some cute, feisty 6 year olds who are looking everywhere but straight ahead.
but it's not over.
i returned to the gym with one of my first grade classes to find my bff's class lined up on the bleachers.
"oh thank god, mrs. lipstick!" i heard someone exclaim. and i thought, how nice, they wanted me to be in the picture. and then i looked.
my bff had decided that under no circumstance was he having his picture taken. he was not going to stand on the edge of the bleachers, he was not going to smile, in fact, he was not even going to look at the camera. at all. so we tried me standing beside him. we tried me standing by the camera jumping up and down to get his attention. we tried me holding him in place trying to force his head straight ahead (fabulous that there is a picture record of this- really not ok). we even tried to get him away from the bleachers so the rest of the class could be in the picture. he didn't want to be away from them. finally we gave up. the final picture will have me, sweaty, red-faced with hair standing on ends with my arm around him, and his back facing the camera.
my last year in the classroom i had a similar experience. the picture remains on my fridge to remind me 1) why i love my job 2) to remember to laugh 3) why i left the classroom.
in the first row sits my little friend who believed he was a dog. he refused to take his hood off and barked and growled at the photographer when she tried to take it off of him. finally i told her to give up since it wasn't worth getting bitten. because of the struggle he's glaring down the camera women as though he's giving her a death sentence and kind of looks like the grim reaper.
smack in the middle of the picture sits my happy-go-lucky friend who later tried to poison me by putting germ x in my coke. he's grinning wildly with those excited eyes that make you wonder what's about to happen next.
behind him is my little one with autism giving his forced, fake smile with his plaid tie on top of a plaid shirt that comes only halfway down his chest.
and in the back row are my smart cookie and another special friend who are laughing manically, oblivious to the fact that a picture is being taken. my student-teacher (now my fabulous co-teacher) and i are on either side of the class, looking frazzled and overwhelmed.
the one picture truly captured the spirit of the year. i think i now have two more 'spirit pictures' coming my way.