And It All Started With A Popcorn Kernel …

Tonight was Grade 8 Graduation. Tonight, my first group of Senior Kindergarten students at Ancaster Meadow graduated from elementary school. I’ve taught for 13 years, and this is the first time that I’ve ever been at a school long enough to see my Kindergarten students graduate. Coupled with the fact that this is my last year at Ancaster Meadow, I was feeling pretty nostalgic tonight. There were many times this evening that I found myself choking back tears, and while I didn’t break down, tonight was the closest I’ve gotten.

After a wonderful graduation ceremony, a group of staff members went out for dinner. As the evening wore on, I got a chance to sit back and listen to some very funny stories, and it made me realize that in the midst of emotional times, a little laughter is good. And so tonight, I’m going to share with you one of the stories I remember from my very first year at Ancaster Meadow School. It’s a story that to this day makes me laugh, and I hope that it will give you a chuckle as well.

When I taught Kindergarten, The Popcorn Song was very popular, and I was forever thinking of new and exciting ways to help the students learn the popcorn words. I used to fill containers with popcorn kernels and hide the words in them. Students would do different activities with the words that they found. In the Kindergarten classroom, I had a cupboard full of neatly stacked containers that all contained popcorn kernels. One day, I opened the cupboard, and I noticed that one of the containers was slightly tipped. This really bothered me. I reached up to fix the container, but it was on the top shelf and it was the top one in a stack of four, and I’m short and could barely reach it. I decided to hold onto the shelf to help steady myself as I grabbed the container, and in doing so, I knocked the shelf, and all of the containers went flying to the floor. Thousands of popcorn kernels flew all over me and all over the floor! This would be bad enough as it was, but it just so happened that one of the kernels flew into my ear. Are you kidding me?! I tried everything to dig it out, but I couldn’t get it to come out. Eventually, I had to go to the office and tell the principal about my dilemma. Through fits of giggles, I managed to explain what happened, and I had to book a doctor’s appointment to get the kernel out (you can imagine my embarrassment in telling the doctor what happened 🙂  ). Things got even worse though because the doctor struggled with getting the kernel out, and thought that I might need surgery. Eventually she managed to flush it out! In the meantime, the principal had to help me fill out an “accident report,” in which she wrote that she would help teach me about “popcorn safety” as a follow-up plan. I’ve never laughed so hard in my entire life!

In the midst of graduations, goodbyes, moving, and classroom clean-ups, I hope that we can all take the time to share an amusing story. You may not have the “popcorn kernel in the ear” problem, but I hope that you can tell another great anecdote instead. Smile big and laugh lots: here’s to a great end to a wonderful school year!


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