Family Trees

Substitute teaching has made me realize that I love kindergarten. It's my absolute favorite grade to sub for, and I can never get enough of it. This week, I've been able to sub for my favorite kindergarten class twice. I call them my chickadees.

On Wednesday, they learned about family trees. According to one student, "A family tree is a tree of family!" I made my family tree and shared it with them. They were absolutely amazed that I had a family. Their excitement grew with each relative, especially when I wrote their name under the picture. When I told them that my fiance's name is Mike, a few hands shot up and asked if it was like Michael Jackson. I laughed and said yes. After I had my entire family on there, I decided to add my dog. This had to be the most amazing thing they had seen all day. You have a dog? No way. They were very excited to find out that they were going to make their own family tree.

As they worked on their family trees, I had a lot of questions about grandparents. My usual response was, "Well, does your mom/dad have a mom/dad?" The light bulb came on, and they quickly started drawing. However, one question caught me off guard. This little boy, who never fails to make me smile, raised his hand. "Ms. Bridges," he asked with a look of deep concern on his face, "Where do I put my step-hamster?" I had to think for a second before I repeated his question. "You have a step-hamster?" "Yes," he replied, "He only lives with me sometimes." I nodded and told him that he should find a special place to include his step-hamster on his family tree. He looked so relieved.

A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold. -Ogden Nash


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The road to becoming a teacher is fill of twists, turns, and near insanity.