(Originally posted 3/9/12)
It has been a typically hectic school week. You know what I mean: Five week grades were due, the juniors and seniors have big deadlines to meet for English papers, Spring sports started, the musical is just around the corner, two grades had class meetings, everyone is sick (I was out for two days myself), requisitions were due, there was a Dept. Chair meeting, etc. etc.On Tuesday, just before I left early to go home ill, I was reminded that there was a Color Guard show in the building and that one of the visiting schools would be in my room. When I came back on Friday I was trying to recoup from having been out and figure out how to visitor-proof my complete and total disaster of a classroom.
First period there was no time. I had to teach and help a student who was on home-tutoring re-enter. Second period there was no time. I had to negotiate a disciplinary issue that had occurred with the substitute. Third period I had to check on the re-entering student and meet with another who was in crisis.
By the time 4th period class got started finishing an activity they had started earlier in the week , I was looking around the room, completely overwhelmed by the idea of making my room usable. A student asked me what I was looking at. A student who is often off in his own world and not very sensitive to what is going on around him. I told him that I was trying to figure out how to get ready for the room to be used. He offered to start the process for me. I thanked him but said, “No, this is my mess, this is my job, I’ll do it after school.” That was true, but I also figured that he wasn’t in the mood to work on his assignment. :o)
He looked at me for a second and said, “You know, just let me move a few things to that back corner and then you can block it off with a table.” and he got up, moved a few things and the entire picture changed. “See…it’s not that big of a deal…and it will be easy.” He was thrilled to have pointed that out for me, and I was thrilled to let him keep going.” On the way out, after spending over 20 minutes cleaning MY room, he said “Thanks, Profe.”
OH MY. Thank you estudiante mío. Not just for moving piles of books and papers. For making a difference in my day. For reminding me that my agenda is often selfish. For wanting to be part of the classroom in your own way. For starting a ripple, and reminding me to get out of the way.
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