Tuesday, September 6, 2016

All's Well

I was busy over-seeing the students in my reading class following written directions to create name tags that communicated essential information about them using symbols when a semi-frantic knock came on the door.

"Have you seen Max?" asked the director counseling.

I nodded. Of course I had. He was one of my homeroom students, and I had met him just a half an hour earlier.

"Do you know where he went?" she asked.

I took a deep breath. The first day of middle school is especially hectic for sixth grade kids and teachers alike. We take special care to make sure that these students who are new to our school know where to go, but it's never a smooth transition that very first time. Teachers stand outside their doors guiding wayward children long after the bell rings. It's not until the hallway is clear that we even enter our rooms.

I looked over my own group of 22 students. I had called the roll and asked if there was anyone who hadn't heard his or her name, and I had even sent one kid next door. Still, I had absentees who may or may not have been at school, but I knew that eventually everyone would get straightened out. But Max was hard of hearing, and so there was a little more concern when he didn't make it to his first period class.

There wasn't much I could do to help, and so I returned to my own class. As students finished their name cards I circulated through, admiring them, and reading the names and the glyphs. "Oh Carolyn, I see your birthday is December 28 and your favorite subject is math! Kylie-- you have one older sibling and have lived in Virginia all your life! Max, you..."

Max! My eyes popped open wide.

"What?!" he asked, alarmed, and rightfully so, because he didn't know he was missing.

"You have an awesome name tag!" I assured him, and then stealthily flagged down an assistant and asked her to inform the counselor that our missing student had been found.

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