Field Day

Have you ever fallen on your butt in front of 20 third graders? No? Yes?

How about 150 third graders? Because falling flat on my butt in front of my students was not enough. I needed to really embarrass myself. The only thing that beats the butt-landing was dad on the dunes. Hey, remember that? Still makes me laugh. That was 100 times funnier than me falling.

But let me tell you about the butt landing so you can be in the moment with me.

Field Day. Friday. 9:00 in the morning. Sun shining (well, duh). Kids hyped up. My whole class wearing tie-dyed shirts. We chose red but most ended up kind of pinkish red - watermelony. Do you feel like you're in the moment? Good.

So after the students did tug of war, we decided the four female third grade teachers should go against the two male third grade teachers. Four against two (one is a triathlete and one is a big former police officer). We start. We start sliding towards the middle. We're losing. Quickly. The P.E. coach joins our side. Huge guy. We start to win. We win. The male teachers drop the rope. You aren't supposed to do that. I was still pulling. I fell. On my butt. In front of everyone.

It didn't hurt at all (I've got extra padding).

Here's where the story gets good (or for those of you that enjoy the thought of me falling on my butt, the story is probably already top-notch). As my friends/coworkers stand there laughing at me and slowly come to my rescue, my students come running to me from their designated area (that they aren't supposed to leave). They grab elbows, hands, legs, whatever. They get me off the ground. They surrounded me, hugging me, brushing me off. Oh my gosh. Remember the scene at the end of Rudy? Or Iron Will? Or any underdog movie? That was me. Surrounded by twenty-one eight and nine year-old kids, cheering for me.

And that is it.

That is why I teach.

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