Boy, I love this line of work.
I love how four boys today during Advisory (aka X-Time) researched for some inexplicable reason “cowcatchers” and then drew a detailed multicolor diagram on the classroom dry-erase board, complete with cow, sun, clouds, birds, and of course cowcatcher-equipped locomotive. From a distance, the “cow” looked like a giraffe, because of its “←cow” label which extended upward from the brown lump on legs.
I love how the same boys begged me not to erase their work until the end of the day, which meant projecting LA-related visuals over it for two class periods, which was totally fine with me. 8th and 9th period know what cowcatchers are now, too.
I love how much these boys smiled when they re-entered the classroom for LA this afternoon.
I love how when I shared the first line of a GoodReads.com summary of today’s Book Hook, Five Feet Apart — “Can you love someone you can never touch?” — one boy in 2nd period impulsively said a slow, drawn-out “yeeeessssss…”, before catching himself. I laughed out loud, and said: “Um, that was a rhetorical question.” And, by the way, I think that boy is, in fact, in fourteen-year-old love as we speak.
I love how during yet another wave of standardized testing (“Illinois Assessment for Readiness!” — our local repackaged PARCC), Will could not for the life of him sit still. As the clock ticked away toward the final 15 minutes of the
seventeen years 105 minutes provided, and all students were long done, I wrote on the board “Sign Language Lesson: ‘Will needs to sit still’, and slowly, twice, signed the sentence to the class, which they silently practiced back to me, grinning.
I love how Will then produced a scrawled message on his piece of scratch paper: “That is impossible”, and held it up for his class neighbors to see.
I love how much I’m going to miss Will once June 1 arrives.
I love how Kyle says “Thank you, Mr. Carlson” every time he leaves 3rd period LA.
I love how 9th-period kids always groan when I stop our 12 minutes of read-aloud, especially when we’ve only recently started They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera, and they’re captivated.
I love asking quiet, introverted Mackenzie what song I should play during the passing period, and she always smiles and says “anything”.
I love how Jack tells me via stream-of-consciousness about the incredible book he has just pilfered from his older sister’s collection, and it’s about the thickest possible YA book on the surface of this planet, which he ironically wedges into the tiny basket on his knee scooter upon which he flies — almost literally flies — through the wing as his fractured tibia heals.
I love how the other Jack will be back tomorrow, even though he has been suspended these past two days due to bullying others, because it will be good to see him, and he deserves another start, and he belongs here.
I love how much these kids make my eyes sting with tears when I think about what they mean to me and how my heart will break a little bit about 115 times over when they walk out that door for the last time at the end of their 8th-grade year.
I love what an old sap I am.
I love these kids.
I am so blessed. I love this line of work.