Gifted, Talented and Quiet

Turning my back on high school freshmen is a rookie mistake for a substitute teacher, but there was no way around it. The teacher’s computer made a habit of crashing every few minutes, and I had to enter in the attendence, somehow. Only the student computers, facing the wall, were available.

I took my chances.

It didn’t take long — everyone was here — yet I half-expected the room to be in shambles by the time I looked back at the students.

I’m the substitute. It’s school policy that students should treat me with grave disrespect and run along the floors and walls chaotically, making sure to  trash the floor with candy wrappers and little bits of hole-punch residue, so as to ensure that I stay after school to clean up after them. Only through constant vigilance can I avoid this fate.

I looked back, and —- they were still working, both quietly and independently. A few had moved onto assignments from other classes, once they finished this period’s work.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. This is what happens with a GATE class of 18 students, even if they are freshmen.

Imagine what would happen if their teacher were here. More than that, imagine if every classroom in the district, state and nation had no more than, say, 18 or 20 kids in the classroom at any one time. Some learning might get done, then.

Not that this is a new sentiment, but it is mine.


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