I Volunteered With Elementary Students During The OK Teacher Walkout. Here Are The Highlights.

Photo by Mike Fox on Unsplash

On April 2, 2018 Oklahoma Teachers walked out of school to protest being underpaid, schools being underfunded, and the fact that Oklahoma children are being left behind. During the first week of the walkout I was able to volunteer at a local elementary school. Not only were these kids wholly adorable and sweet, they were funny. Let me tell you, no one sees the world quite like children do. Everyday I wrote down the most funny/weirdest things the kids said to me; these are the highlights from week one of the OK Teacher Walkout.

 

Day 1:

“Miss Maggie, how old are you?”

“I’m 21”

*looks up at me in complete shock* “I thought you were my mommy’s age…she’s 30!”

 

“We’re all princesses in our own way,” *points to me* “you’re the princess of cheekbones.”

 

“Mrs.Maggie?”

“You can call me ‘Miss Maggie’ or just ‘Maggie,’ I’m not married.”

*Shocked again* “You’re not married, but you’re old?!”

 

*Playing Ships and Sailors in the gym* “Running is dangerous. I’m gonna sit this one out.”

 

Day 2:

“Miss Maggie, you’re so pretty, even with your gray hair.”

“Thank you…what gray hair are you talking about?”

*Exasperatedly* “The ones on the bottom!” (my hair is honey blond and to my knowledge contains no gray at this time)

 

*Playing Sharks and Minnows in the gym* “I don’t like running, it’s for athletes. I’m only in peewee soccer” (This is the same kid as yesterday)

 

“Can I hold your hand? You’re in charge.” (I was 100% not in charge)

 

*Helping the kids make fuse bead pictures (plastic beads you melt with an iron)* “I’m gonna ask my mom if you can come home with me,”

“…why would you do that?”

“because you’re allowed to iron!”

 

*I’m wearing a Top Gun themed sorority shirt and a little boy is wearing an actual Top Gun shirt* “Hey, you can call me Maverick” *wink*

(I had to turn around so he wouldn’t see me laughing)

 

Day 3:

“My favorite President was Martin Luther King”

“He wasn’t President sweetie”

“Oops I meant Barack Obama!”

 

“I can’t play outside! I’ll get wood chips up my nose and in my eyes” (same kid as day one and two, she has a lot of safety concerns with physical activity.)

 

“That cat’s name is Felix...or Marshmallow...I don’t actually know...I’ve never seen that cat before.” (one boy on why he should be allowed to pet a stray cat on the playground)

 

“Do I have a camel toe?!”

“Where did you hear that?”

*refuses to make eye contact* “no one”

 

Day 4:

“Are you good at taking care of your fish?”

“Yes...except I forget to feed him all the time.”

 

*ball in shirt* “Look, Miss Maggie, I’m pregnant!”

*panicking* “Let’s not joke about that. No babies here!”

“Miss Maggie, you need a baby soon.”

“Okay guys, I’m good for now, no babies for Miss Maggie anytime soon.”

*group of kids are visibly upset with me*

 

“I can bite your hand. You don’t feed me.”

 

“I have 6 cats”

*in shock* “are they alive cats?!”

*no answer*

 

“The store is free...but no mans allowed.”

*from across the room* “or boys!”

“I’m gonna get neutered” (out of nowhere and never clearly explained)

 

Day 5:

“They’re exploiting our trades” (someone’s been doing vocab)

 

“Miss Maggie, are you lonely? Since you live by yourself.” (I do not, nor have I ever, lived on my own. Also, I don’t know why they think I’m lonely, but now I’m worried)

 

“Tell the other kids to be quiet...I’m trying to watch a movie on my iPad.”

 

“I think it says ‘from Eve’...but I don’t know...but I think it does” (a little girl left a fake note telling another girl they aren’t friends like she was Johnny Bananas or something)

 

“He frickin’ pushed me!”

*I immediately quote the vine- without cursing*

*kids look at me confused, aftercare teacher behind me laughing*

 

As the Oklahoma Teacher Walkout continues, I have been lucky enough to work with the kids again. They were silly and funny, bold and rambunctious, and everyday they told us how much they miss their teachers. A lot of them understood what is going on and they support their teachers fighting on their behalf. This first week gave me a whole new found respect for teachers across the country, but especially those right here at home. Thank you educators of Oklahoma for fighting for your kids and yourselves; we are right here with you, and we can’t wait to welcome you back when you bring home that funding!