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.