First Grade Sweets


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOLSC) is on and this is my second year of participation! Thanks so much to  Two  Writing Teachers for hosting.  
First thing Monday  morning, my students filed into the room, happy and chattering, putting book bags in cubbies, signing in for lunch, making plans for recess.  Within a few minutes, J. bounced up to me sporting a wide gap-toothed grin, both hands tucked behind her back.
“Mrs. Hogan, guess which hand has something in it!”
My first response, I’m sorry to say, was a sigh. An inward sigh, but a sigh nonetheless. It had been a crazy weekend and I already felt behind. J. has a hard time settling into work and is eager to indulge in any available distraction. Another student was already making loud, rude noises and refusing to follow his Ed. Tech’s directions.”No. No. No.” he parrotted over and over again. My arm throbbed from yesterday’s unexpected tetanus shot (the crazy weekend–a slice for some other day) and another student hovered at my elbow, wanting my attention.

For some reason, I stopped the redirections that immediately leapt to my lips (“J. you need to get started on your morning work.”), took a deep breath, and joined in her game, temporarily ignoring the pressing needs around me.
“Hmmmm…” I hesitated, tapping my finger on my chin. “This one,” I said suddenly and decisively, pointing to her left arm.
She pulled her hand from behind her back, spreading empty fingers.
“No,” she said, her smile spreading even wider, “but you have one more chance!”
I smiled, too,  my mood lightening instantly.
“Hmmmm…”I deliberated again, fully involved in the game at this point. “How about… this one?” I pointed to her other arm.
“Yes!” She beamed, pulling her hand from behind her back. In it she held a Russell Stover Valentine candy bar– Strawberries and Cream.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“It’s for you!” she said.  “It was at Shaw’s and it was a leftover!”

Sweet leftovers from a first grader to sweeten the start of the week. It was a good Monday.


16 thoughts on “First Grade Sweets

  1. Carol says:

    Gotta love those first graders! So, so, so sweet! Your use of dialogue brings her to life for me as a reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dogtrax says:

    I can hear your internal voice because it’s my voice, too. (But I don’t get chocolate gifts all that often!)
    Lovely slice, reminding us to pay attention to the small moments of our days, and the interests and lives of our young people.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kate Schwarz says:

    Really sweet–and not just because it ended with something sweet! This slice reminds me to be open to the unexpected, to open myself to things not on my Plan (I’m such a planner, and sometimes I have trouble being flexible to accommodate others and just new things that pop up). Grateful I read it, and great first slice of the month!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy says:

    Kids do surprise us when we least expect. I was feeling your emotions the entire way through the post! What a happy ending regardless.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So gorgeous. I can so relate to that moment of a million things on your mind and not wanting another distraction but, they bring us back to what is important and simple. I loved this little moment. Thank you for making me smile. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anonymous says:

    That is a wonderful start of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tara Smith says:

    What a great way to start the day – those chocolates look yummy, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the surprises that await when we take the time to just “be” in the moment, as you did for this student.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Cindy says:

    Gosh it really is so worth it to just pause and enjoy our students. We all know that inward sigh that you mentioned. What a great reminder! AND you got chocolate 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tara says:

    I’m sure my first reaction would have been the same as yours; I hope that I would have caught myself like you did! Testing will be a big deal at my school this year and I hope I can remember to not get caught up in that and enjoy the students instead!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Michelle Li says:

    Here’s to pausing and listening for the moments that matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. jodimahoney says:

    I love the honesty in this piece. Your vulnerability in your writing makes it even easier to connect with you and be right there with you. We’ve all been there.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That was a sweet reward! That was a great story and it brought me back to my own teaching days with first graders. They can be so random, and truly do sometimes come up with annoying distractions–but you never can tell when it will turn into a precious moment like that!

    Liked by 1 person

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