From a life of a teacher – advantages of a teacher who doesn´t have to work at home


Firstly, I need to point out that I am aware of that a child´s work has been forbidden for decades in our country. But what can happen to you as a teacher if are not able to see behind a corner and you speak quicker than you think.

Activities of a practical life are very popular in our classroom. I don´t even know how to specify the most popular one. Randomly, for those who don´t have children in a Montessori kindergarten, I can mention some activities which children like to do a lot like grating soap followed by laundering, scrabbing a table, scrabbing and polishing a floor, polishing items made from metal, wood, glass and leather. Further, washing windows, sewing, embroidery, making plaits, folding clothes and many others. This story is related specifically to ironing.

The ironing is, also as other activities, done almost daily. Luckily, there is a lot of things for ironing, there are enough cloths, dish towels and aprons. We don´t have just one of each but even ten of each every day for ironing in each classroom. At least I always thought so. When the child is absorbed by the activity, then it seems that tens of cloths are not enough. 

So it happened one day that two girls decided to iron. They ironed all our aprons. Then they were looking for another opportunity and they ironed all our dish towels. Then it was cloths. When they didn´t know what to iron next they came to me and we were looking for what still needs to be ironed. We were looking at places where we store different kind of pieces suitable for this activity. When they came third time asking they still would like to iron something from the classroom and we couldn´t find anything, a thought came up at this moment: „Girls, I would need you at my home!“ An immediate reply from both girls was: „And why?“ This situation could have still been saved, but sometimes a mouth is quicker than thinking and from my mouth came out: „Because I have plenty of clothes ready for ironing in a basket at home!“ As soon as I saw the happiness in their eyes I noticed that I made a mistake at that moment and I needed to become Houdini at least. By one magical formula, I got away from the classroom full of children into a big trouble. Girls began to jump up and down with unbelievable happiness and both girls demanded: „You will bring it, Mili, tomorrow, won´t you? We will iron it“ Before I had enough time to react they started to whoop happily and they pointed out to the other children that Mili would bring a pile of her clothes for ironing! As I am not Houdini, I am more like Saxana, I forgot about a magical formula on how to get out of this trouble.

So I hoped that during the day and with many other experiences, it will be forgotten, not just by the girls but by everyone. But children have, as we know, a very good memory. So they didn´t forget to come to me several times during that day to remind me not to forget to bring the clothes tomorrow. When they were leaving home they reminded me – they obviously know that my memory doesn´t reach their capacity and I suspect that they will start giving me written notes as they know my sticky notes everywhere. 

So you think all day what you will be doing the next day and how you will explain that? As it will get out, for sure. I can imagine myself as a parent in the evening, if the child would share with me that the other day he will be ironing the clothes of his teacher. The whole pile of it! And what about dishes? Doesn´t the teacher bring the dishes for washing with her? Do you do the laundry only for kindergarten? What else do you do there?

Coincidently that evening there was a parent´s seminar held. A mother, of one of the girls into the ironing, signed in. I asked her very carefully if she hasn´t heard anything about ironing yet? With a smile on her lips and expecting an interesting chat (the mother has known me for some time) she said: „Yeah, yeah – I have heard, I would use that at my home too.“ Bingo – I don´t have to bring my clothes, I will ask for theirs! It would look better in the morning when they come with a full basket of their clothes for ironing! I´m the lucky one – I get lucky on the children and also on the parents, we were laughing a lot while I was describing the situation how I got myself into this. Mainly to the imagination if this had happened to a parent of a new child, new to the system, unfamiliar with my person – I would have found myself in a „better“ situation then. By the way, there is no pile of clothes for ironing in my home anymore, isn´t it awesome to be a teacher?

Have a beautiful and smiley day.

Mili

P.S.: Just in case of any questions, the ironing is completely safe and the children cannot burn themselves and they cannot set fire! But you can iron anyway, really.

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