Thursday, February 11, 2010

Not gonna lie, I teared up a little.

I woke up and was shocked and nicely surprised this morning to see huge, fluffy snow falling to the ground outside our bedroom window. The golf course was covered, and it was coming down hard. We don't get too many of these days in Texas, so this is quite a treat. I breathed in a good morning deep breath, put a smile on my face and turned on the news to see that, as usual, our school is not closed today. I contemplated calling in, but thought, the roads aren't that bad. It's not freezing yet, they're going to need my help today. So I got ready and headed in.

And when I got to school I saw, what may go down in my book, as the best moment of the 09/10 school year.

Last year, I was having a conversation with three of my boy students in class upon one of them returning from a suspension for fighting. He beat the kid up pretty bad. It disappointed me and I couldn't let him just slide back into class, into the normal routine without saying anything.

So I asked him to come sit next to my desk after he'd finished his work and we talked. Two boys nearby joined in the conversation.

Miss, you don't understand. I know you say we have a choice how we react to things. I know you think I made a bad decision, but it's kill or be killed out there. That guy and his friends were waiting for me when I was walking home. They were gonna jump me. They've tried before, but I just took a different way home. I knew it was gonna happen, so I just got to him at school before he could get to me.

And that helped? I said.

He knows not to mess with me now. And I get to keep my iPod and my tennis shoes. That's how it works.

And I didn't really have an answer for that. My kids deal with this kind of stuff on a daily basis, and I hear about it all. As teachers, I think our ears are just tuned to listen for loud screams and watch for kids sprinting past, trying to join in the huddled masses around two kids pounding the crap out of each other during the school day. It's just something we get used to.

So when I was sitting inside my classroom this morning, getting ready for the day and I heard a tumult of kids screaming outside my window on the football field, it was instinct to run outside to see what kind of intervention was needed. There were tons of them. They were running and screaming at the top of their lungs.

And they were throwing snowballs at each other.

And it made my teacher heart happy. Even in their kill or be killed world, they can still be kids when it snows. And we'll be celebrating that today in my class. :)

**Addendum. My hopes were quickly dashed. We ended up in lockdown and on the news. This happened at a different time during the day, but still.
Click here to see the news story.