I truly meant to write something on Friday, October 7th, but my brain went home early.
Friday, October 7 was the best day I have ever had as a teacher. Ever. Please keep in mind that I have been teaching in some form or fashion for twenty-five years.
As I have mentioned, I teach in a great school and have some truly special students.
I have some extremely gifted students.I also have some above average intellect students. I have some students who are one lab accident away from being a super villain. And there are a few “normal” kids tossed in there for contrast.
The great day started in the morning.
My English class was working on a review of the Time Machine. They were supposed to go over the first two chapters and then retell it in their own words . I looked up from my desk about ten minutes after I gave my instructions. Every child in the room was working quietly. They were working as partners and everyone was on task and focused.
As anyone who has worked with sixth graders will know, this is an odd occurrence. It’s as unexpected as Ryan Gosling coming in with my teacher of the year award and complimentary foot rub. I was stunned.
In the afternoon, I took my most challenging class outside for a observational nature walk. After they finished gathering the required amount of information, I let them have some free time. It was a nice day and we were ahead of schedule. The kids began playing with what ever was available and that included some giant tires that are set out on our field for obstacles and climbing.
The entire class, most of whom do not get along, proceeded to play King of the Hill. This group includes two of the smartest kids I have ever worked with. Both of these kids have very limited social skills and one rarely puts away his computer.
They were all playing together and the pushing and teasing was all on a playful level where it stayed the entire time. The smallest of the group, let’s call him Eli, kept getting knocked off. This is where Eli would usually start crying or proclaiming that things aren’t fair.
Eli hopped back up each time and only stopped once to bring me his glasses. He got very dirty and and rumpled and had a glorious time.
My day was perfect.
The students were active and engaged and had fun. Just like it’s supposed to be.
This morning I was startled to see Eli at my classroom door.
He wasn’t in dress code and had clearly been crying.
He told me that he wasn’t going to be coming to school anymore.
He cried on my shoulder and said that he would miss me. His mother was looking on and said, “It’s just not working out.”
I have no idea what that means.
I missed Eli all day and explained to my students that I would miss each and every one of them if they weren’t there.
i don’t know where this story ends, but I am going to try to stick the ending with Eli’s smiling face as he brushed the dirt off the knees of his pants as we went back in on Friday afternoon.