It’s first period and I’m teaching high schoolers. The end of class is near and I’m starting to worry if each small group is going to get a chance to present what they’ve been working on.
There’s a commotion in the hallway. An entire class of middle schoolers, many of whom I teach on a different day, are waiting along with their teacher to get into my classroom.
I am annoyed.
I peek out and ask what’s going on. I’m told that they need to use my large room just for a moment to make a brief announcement.
I get huffy.
What!? Are you serious!? No one told me. I didn’t plan for this. How will I wrap up the class with 10 minutes less than should have? Aaaaaagh!
This is what I’m thinking in my head, and I’m afraid some of it shows as I mutter, “OK then. C’mon in,” and usher everyone in in a sarcastic flourish.
The interlopers fill the room, and the reason for their gathering soon becomes apparent. The high schoolers and middle schoolers want to honor…
One student hands me a tiara. A small speech is made by my fellow teacher, formerly known as Interrupter. Students form a line to one-by-one press their small notes of thanks into my palm. A young lady is chosen to read a poem that extolls my traits.
Huffiness was not among those listed.
I manage not to cry, and we all get a good laugh at how poorly I hid my irritation. Once class was over I was able to read through the notes and savor the poem. I was deeply touched by the kindness of my students and colleagues.
Soon, my school day was done and I ran an errand at the grocery store. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized I was still wearing my tiara.
I wore that SO much better than huffiness.