May 23, 2016

End of the Year Reflection

This was my first year teaching middle school. There were many firsts and tons of learning and growth for me along the way. This is one of my favorite memories, as well as a first. 
Standing in my classroom explaining something of great non-importance, I heard a knock on my wall.  My entire class and I  looked out into the hall, through the 8’ x 10’ windows that line the back wall, only to see a squatted figure run by my room with a soft plastic pool draped over its head.  Sighing in defeat, and trying not to smile, I knew I had to address this.
Earlier in the day, John had come into my room to ask if I wanted to go swimming after school. I looked up to see him pull a wadded, blow-up plastic pool from his backpack.
“Ummm, no. But thanks for the offer,” I replied with a grin. John came by my room to visit several time a day. Almost like my room was a homebase where he could come and get a quick reprieve from “school-life”. Maybe it was because he knew I thought he was funny. (I have been accused of having the sense of humor of a middle school boy. Several times.) Maybe because I believed in him even though he wouldn’t perform of put much effort into anything by drawing. Or maybe it was because I was at the end of the hall near the water fountains.
Knowing who it was who had performed the “drive-by pooling”, I slowly walked out of my classroom and down the hall. Before I even turned the corner, I heard “Did she react?” With a smirk on my face, I confronted John and his sidekick, Henry.
“Let me have it,” I murmured.
“What?” they asked, not so innocently.
“You know what.”
“I don’t have it!” John replied, continuing to shove something into his backpack and trying to get it zipped. “Henry took it! He has it.”
Looking at Henry, I saw that he didn’t have anything big enough to hide a wadded up plastic pool.
“Dude,” I replied with my brows raised, “I’ll have to drag y’all to the office. Just give it to me.”
With a small shrug of defeat, John unzipped his backpack and pried to pool out. As he handed it to me he said quite proudly, “I bet you’ve never taken up a pool before, Mrs. Smalley!”

I just walked away shaking my head, trying not to let them see me grin. I have a reputation to keep up.


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