Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's Elementary

David's grandparents are in town to visit us for the weekend and yesterday I drove them out to David's new school so that we could meet some of the staff and get a tour of the building.  I had not been there since I helped him decorate his office before school started, so it was nice to meet the secretaries and the principal and see David interact with the kids.

Back when he was Coach Duck, he was something of a superstar at the elementary school where he taught.  Anytime he would walk around the school or playground, kids would run up to him, shouting "Hi, Coach Duck!" and wanting to give him a high-five.  He would introduce me as Mrs. Coach Duck and sometimes they would want to give me a hug even though they'd never seen me before.  It was bizarre.

Since he's now the assistant principal and the discipline dude, I wondered if his superstar status would be diminished, but we quickly discovered that was not the case.  The kids call him "Mr. Duckworth" now, but they still want give him a hug or high-five him and they were very excited to meet his wife and grandparents.

I met one teacher who is also pregnant and due the same day I am and she's also having a baby girl.  David introduced me in front of her class and she said, "I hear we have a lot in common!" and one of the girls shouted, "You're both skinny!" which was hilarious and also weird because we both have preggo bellies.

My favorite part of the tour was the library because the librarians had set up a display they called the "Quack Pack."  They had blown up a photograph of David, pasted it on foam board and cut it out to look sort of three dimensional so his hand looked like it was holding the big sign that said, "Quack Pack."  It stands on the middle of a table and David puts out the library books that he recommends.  He said that he has to refill his recommendations almost on a daily basis because evidently the kids want to read whatever Mr. Duckworth recommends.  He told me in all seriousness that he is still waiting for the Puggle book to come back into the library so that he can put that out with his recommendations.  That afternoon he had added a book on octopus (it did not mention eating them).

He also mentioned that the students are easily persuaded by the way he presents the lunch menu--when he reads what the options are, he'll choose one menu item and say, "Oooh, my favorite!  Popcorn chicken!" or he'll choose a particular teacher and say, "And option three is Mrs. Dutton's favorite sandwich:  grilled cheese!"  Inevitably, whatever item he plays up on the announcement has the longest line in the cafeteria the next day.

His influence over young minds might be a little frightening.

The kids are pretty excited about Baby Duck, which I think is really cute.  The day that David left work early to come to my ultrasound, the principal announced that Mr. Duckworth and his wife were at the doctor to find out if they were having a boy or girl.  She told them to look at Mr. Duckworth's shirt the next day because whatever color he was wearing would indicate if it was a boy or a girl.  So when David showed up wearing pink, the girls were high-fiving him and saying "Yay!  It's a girl!" and a group of fourth-grade girls even made up a rhyming cheer about the baby girl that they performed in the office.

I guess it is those moments that help balance the parent phone calls and school bus problems that he has to deal with on a regular basis.  At the very least, the job keeps David on his toes because he never knows quite what to expect next.

There is one little first-grade girl at his school who has had a difficult family situation and so anytime she wants to talk to the counselor or the principals about her family, her teachers send her directly to the office.  The day that David wore his pink shirt, she was out at recess and told the teacher that she needed to speak to Mr. Duckworth about her mom.  So one of the recess supervisors escorted her directly to the office.

David was at the front of the office introducing himself to a couple of new parents who had just moved into the district, and there were a few regular volunteer parents there, as well as the counselor and secretaries.

The recess teacher quietly explained that this little girl needed to talk to Mr. Duckworth about her mom, so David stepped toward the door to escort her back to his office so she could talk to him privately.

Instead, she bounded up to him and blurted out, in front of everyone, "Mr. Duckworth!  I want you to come to my house and make a baby sister with my mom!"

David said that his face must have turned bright red.

The secretaries were laughing so hard that they had to turn they faces away.  The new parents were also cracking up, and the recess teacher's mouth was hanging open because she had no idea that was what this little girl was going to say.

Fortunately, David managed a pretty quick recovery and said something like, "Well, my wife and I are already having a baby girl.  So maybe when we have our baby, I can bring in pictures to show you.  Would you like that?"

That seemed to satisfy her.  Because evidently looking at pictures of our baby is equivalent to the exciting idea of David making a baby with her mom.

Never a dull moment at the elementary level.

1 comment:

  1. Hahahaha, AWESOME! He sounds like a great assistant principal! And what a close-knit school, too.