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Thursday, September 8, 2016

The internet went down again.

The internet went down again.

And again and again and again.

All day long, it failed for at least a few students.

I know that sounds like a problem.

It was a huge problem.

But I'm a silver linings kinda gal.

So even though the internet went down,

Even though it ruined my carefully laid plans,

Even though the kids left me exhausted and not a little annoyed by day's end,

I can still find a good thing, or two.

After school, I walked out to the softball field with a colleague to catch a few minutes of the JV game.

One of freshmen girls is on the team.

She came to class today with an abundance of energy.

She wasn't alone--everyone was a tad squirrelly today.
As I was finishing up directions, I asked the class if there were any questions.

Immediately, she looked up and blurted "What are you doing after school today?"

Without thinking, I responded "I don't know, maybe answering irrelevant questions?"

That sounds facetious. It was a little, but I promise my delivery was very soft.

A few kids laughed, but she wasn't phased.

"NO, I really need to know, what are doing after school?"

I told her I would probably be in my room working.

"Ok, well, you should come to the softball field and see my game. Ok?"

I said maybe and we moved on.

When I got to the field that afternoon, I went over to the dugout area.

There are tarps that block the view of the bleachers from the team.

Oh, but I heard her loud and clear.

She was vehemently cheering for her teammates.

I said, "Is that Rebecca I hear?"

She crouched to peer through the fence under the tarp and "Oh, you came! Cool."

She disappeared from view as she turned to her team and shouted "You guys, you guys, my English teacher is here!"

The walk was worth it.

Maybe that would have happened even if the internet had cooperated.

The second best moment of my day probably wouldn't have.

This year, I am requiring students to read an independent novel of their choice.

The only guidance I give them is that their choice must be grade and age no GooseBumps and no Fifty Shades...

I also gave them a due date and spent time teaching them to use Google Calendar.

They divided their total page number into 4 and I we created a repeating Friday event complete with notifications for their weekly page goal.

It took forever, but it was fun.

Anyway, the kids are eager to read and want class time to do so.

That isn't really in the cards very often.

Of course, I encourage them to carry their books and read any spare moment they have.

Of course, I wish we could read more in class.

When the internet goes down, reading isn't a terrible back up plan.

It was one of the options I gave students who couldn't get on line today.

I am finally getting to the point here.

In my third hour, for the second time this year, a quiet, a calm, a concentrated aura of purposefulness so deep, I pulled out my book and sat down, descended on the room.

Every single kid, without protest or even really prompting, pulled out a book and read.

It was awesome!

So the internet went down, and it blew my plans to hell.

And a couple of classes went up in flames.

But I got two pretty good gifts out of the deal:

1. Rebecca will love on me for weeks for showing up at her game.

2. Another reminder that my students love to read.

Those are pretty awesome things.

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