My seventh hour and I are sometimes at odds. Most middle school teachers are sometimes at odds with their last class of the day, I gather. It has been a particularly chaotic week with the preliminary stages of research, and I had rushed down the hall to discuss something with a colleague between sixth and seventh period.
At the beginning of the period, my students are to immediately read or write when the bell rings without prompting from me. Seventh hour does not usually do so well with this, so I expected to walk in the door, thirty seconds after the bell, to a flurry of activity and noise.
I walked into dead silence, kids (pretending, at least) to be intent on their reading. Except for the kids whose book was upside down, of course. My jaw dropped in grateful surprise, a silent “Awwww!”
They held it together for a moment, when Mike blurted out from across the room, “I bet you weren’t expecting that!”
“Shhh!” I said, and I may have stomped a foot. “Don’t ruin it…”
As I settled down into my own reading, I heard a slight wheezing from the back of the room. Noah was doubled over, red in the face, trying not to laugh audibly. Something about the whole scenario had struck him funny.
Because class started smoothly, it went smoothly. We were all warm toward one another. It was sweet.