Speed, agility, and intellect are the key focus of every teachers’ foray back into the classroom for the annual back to school opening ceremonies. We marvel at the Olympians who travel from around the world to compete in the quadrennial games hosted by an exotic country, but we know little about the games played out each year in the school classroom. Explore the tougher pursuits that classroom leaders of our little leprechauns must battle every day. These are true Gold Medal winners!

image2 (12)Bladder Control Throughout the school day, your tiny loved ones must be allowed to tinkle on demand and with liberal regularity. But for teachers, this is an unknown luxury. It’s a catch 22 for every teacher who’s ever had to mentally prepare for the day. It starts with multiple forms of caffeine piloted down the throat so that morning energy is at peak capacity when the little darlings arrive. Then before the children’s first break comes, the dreaded pee-pee dance for teacher has become an art form all on its own. The Bladder Control competition is fierce, and there are many losers. For your child’s holiday teacher gift, consider giving him or her a thoughtful certificate to a Urologist, or even a sweetly wrapped bag of Depends.

Photo by Ottawadcitizen.com

Backpack Bingo We’ve all purchased the latest Disney or Marvel Comics backpack for our sweet little urchins. But at the end of the day, teachers must tap the telekinetic region of their brain to help decipher which Captain America backpack belongs to Johnny, and which one gets a ride home with Patrick. There’s nothing worse than a teacher receiving a middle of the night phone call from an angry parent questioning the detention slip inadvertently slipped into the wrong child’s book bag. Teachers not only have to be aware of and keep track of every child’s belongings, they must develop a 6th sense that serves as a tracking device. This competition is more competitive in First and Second grade classrooms.

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Photo by caringforkids.billingsclinic.com

Runny Nose Race You’ve sent the required 2 boxes of Kleenex to school listed on your child’s supply list. But did you ever stop to think about how your 6-year old keeps his nose clean during cold season? Teachers must not only instruct a roomful of little Petrie dishes who don’t feel well enough to learn today, but must also assist in the wiping of nose after nose. Visions of children lined up at the teacher’s desk to secure one of the precious facial tissues and eventually are assisted in wiping the snotty mess off their face hits me square in the gag button. However, you should commend your child’s teacher for not only wiping noses all day long, but for building their own resistance to bacteria-viral strains carried only by munchkins under the age of 7. Gold medals given all around!

image5 (6)Craft Hour Hurdles Susie once again brought home a refrigerator-worthy artful masterpiece of macaroni glued to a blue hand silhouette mounted on a less than sturdy paper plate. You marvel at your child’s crafting prowess, but never give a second thought at the man-hours invested by the teacher so that every child ends up with a Monet they can call their own. Once the art supplies have been personally purchased by the teacher (don’t get me started on this one), arranged said supplies on every desk while the children are at recess, rounded up 30 oversized painting smocks (really these are Goodwill men’s shirts), and said a prayer, the overcharged and high strung kiddos come racing back in from the playground to tap their inner artist. The teacher assists each child dip their hand into quick-drying, blue, tempera paint, imprint it onto a paper plate, keep Hayley from eating the Elmer’s glue, clean up hard elbow macaroni from the floor 27 times, write each child’s name on their artwork, clean 30 sets of blue hands, and store the newly created Renoirs in a safe place to dry. This is completed in under one hour, because these little buggers have short attention spans. There’s no medal worthy enough for this competition. But if there was, it would be made from some heavenly substance and have superhuman powers to teleport your child’s teacher to a bathtub filled with Calgon bubbles. Photo by shobnallprimaryschool.com

This Schoolyear / Olympic season, don’t forget the unsung heroes in classroom trenches around the world. Each teacher is not only an Olympian athlete but is a champion of children in a gladiator ring full of lions.


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Header photo by enrichingstudents.com