We used to pass out #2 pencils and Scantron sheets.
Now we give laptops, log in codes and headphones. To 8 year olds.
Of course the headphones have not been put back into their proper Baggies. Of course three of them are tangled almost irretrievably. (See the photo of my lap, left.)
I miss Crayolas and paper and newly sharpened pencils. I thoroughly enjoy teaching cursive, and holding read aloud time after lunch, or Social Studies discussions about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Chinese New Year.
But this morning one of my special education kids, practically the brightest student in my class, typed something different from his password. Instead of BKM4BP, he typed, “Die, computer, die.”
It was the perfect bit of comedic relief I needed. I burst out laughing when I read it, and he looked at me in surprise.
“That is exactly how I’m feeling right now,” I said, and he laughed, too.
And then he went on to produce the third highest score in the class.
If you had any idea, even vaguely, of how hot it’s been in my classroom this week then you would understand why I haven’t put up a post since Tuesday, let alone visited any of yours.
The pencils above give a pretty good indication of how things are going all around. The dear children in my class are driven to distraction with the humidity in a corner room, closed off to any possible air circulation with windows that don’t open for everyone’s “safety” in a school with no air conditioning whatsoever.
The children have been sharpening their pencils in between my lessons. When I saw them, I had to laugh. “Hand them over,” I said, “so I can take a picture.”
Needless to say, there’s not been much reading Chez Bellezza. Taking baths and going to bed at 8:30, yes. Reading from my stack of glorious books? Not so much.
But, it’s Labor Day Weekend. And I’ll be free of Labor for at least three days. Surely in that time I can post on the books I’ve received this week: The Mathematician’s Shiva by Stuart Rojsyaczer, River by Michael Ferris Smith, and We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas. Surely I can come by to see what you’ve been doing while I’ve been sweating.
This morning, Matthew was telling us all about his medical procedure yesterday which was the reason he was out of class. Fortunately, he said, he had his emergency book.
“Matthew,” I asked, “what is an emergency book?” (Knowing full well, as I, too, carry one.)
“Pretend you’re going somewhere super boring and you only have two books. An emergency book is the second book you have in case you finish your first book and you have nothing to do. If you have a long book, such as Valeria is reading, you don’t need an emergency book. My emergency book is Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life,” he replied.
Something to remember the next time you’re somewhere super boring.