Right. Teacher smile. The one thing I’ve heard from day one that has driven me crazy. I got to my room and put the glue, scissors, and construction paper that they would use to cut out their pictures and glue it to the construction paper that they would give to their mothers for Mother’s Day. The kids all seemed to be excited about the idea.

I was still thinking about this as I was setting play dough out. These kids always loved play dough. It kept them occupied during story and while they were learning to recognize the letters. We always did play dough while there was no actual work for them involved. They were always disappointed when they had to put it away.

The kids came ten minutes later. I put on my fake teacher smile and greeted each of them. “Hello, Lisa. Hello, Timmy. Oh, Gail, don’t you look beautiful today!” Inside I was steaming. How could these kids have so much energy so early in the morning?

The bell rang. “Okay, kids. Let’s get started today. We are going to read Little Red Riding Hood today. Who knows the story?” I was pleased that many kids raised their hands. Good, I wouldn’t have to spend much time with this. Kids loved hearing the same thing over and over again, too.

After the story, I got out the letters. “Now, who can tell me how many letters there are? Yes, Lisa?” I looked straight at a red head girl that quickly raised her hand.

“Twenty-six letters.”

“That’s correct!” I couldn’t stand these kids, but I was continually impressed by how smart they were. Especially Lisa. She was obviously the smartest of the group. “Now, who can tell me what all of the letters are called?”

This time, it was a freckled girl named Anna that raised her hand. When she was called on, she said, “It’s called the alphabet.”

“That’s right, Anna!” I was pleased. I have trained these kids to answer intelligently. I didn’t want to answer to a lot of answers that weren’t smart. I loved getting through it quickly. The sooner they could get out to the playground to wait for their parents, the better. I have loved every single day since the principle has allowed that.

“Now, I want you all to stand up and recite the alphabet. You may do it as a class today, but one day I will have you all say it one by one.”

The class started. “A, B, C, D….” It went on and on.

“Good job, class! You may all sit down and play with the play dough until the announcements come on.”

The principal came on with the announcements. There was the usual. Another fundraiser coming up, the end of the year field trip was coming, make sure you get your permission slips ready for that, and blah, blah, blah. I hated these morning announcements. It was so tedious. The principal finished up with the pledge of allegiance and got off the intercom.