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Upon Return

I know. I went dark. But that’s the prerogative of a teacher, right? To go dark in the summer.

There is much to tell, and perhaps I might get around to telling some of it. But school has begun so for now, some things the kids said today…

1. Band

I was talking to a student who missed a test. She looked over her shoulder to another kid and said something about playing an instrument.

“Are you in band?” I asked. I had stopped by the field last night to watch them practice, and I didn’t remember seeing her.

“Yes, but I was gone yesterday.”

“I stopped by to watch practice.”

“Yes,” she said, “I heard.”

Um… what? She heard that I stopped by to watch them practice? I guess I earned points.

2. Smooth

I haven’t figured out the whole hand-shaking/greeting thing. Although as for that, I never figured out the hand-shaking protocol in high school, either.

I’m walking in the hallway before school. I see two of my students from last year. I say hi and reach out to slap hands with one and then the other. Just kind of winging it with the whole “what comes after the hand slap” thing. With one of them, the slap transitioned into a loose finger grip. With the other, it transitioned into a fist bump.

“Ooooh,” said the first kid. “Smooth.”

“Yeah, smooth Mr. Hasan,” said the second.

Smooth? Um… wait what was it I did, again?

3. Penmanship

I use colored pens in class. I write in my notebook that’s projected on the screen, and they write along with me. I draw red circles and blue arrows. I highlight multistep procedures in blue and math rules in red.

Today I was starting a new example, and I turned to the kids to have them talk to their partners about something.

One of them looked at the screen and said, “Mister, your handwriting is so neat.”

Okay! I explicitly told them on day one that our three objectives for the year were to learn to (1) think clearly, (2) communicate well, and (3) do some new math. I might have checked off #2 with them. And it’s only week three.

Um… of course there’s that “do some new math” thing. The year’s only just begun.