This has been a week of surprises, three to be exact. Starting with the most recent…
Thursday evening, as I was waiting for parent to arrive for Parent-Teacher Conferences, my principal engages me in conversation and, in the midst of it and not pertinent to the rest of the conversation, drops the bombshell that all the special education classrooms would, within a month, be outfitted with wall-mounted interactive white boards. This is HUGE. SPED teachers in my school are used to not getting resources the general ed teachers receive. For us to get something before them, and a big something at that, blew me away.
Surprise number two arrived on Tuesday evening. It was the news that a new series of high-interest low-level books from Nox Press will be dedicated to my students and me because of the success we’ve had using their Junkyard Dan series. Junkyard Dan books start at the 1.0 grade level and rise to 2.0 over the course of ten fast-paced novels. Elise Leonard, the author of the books and a former teacher, had set up the dedication of the new series, comedies this time, with my principal and sprung it in an email she sent me. The dedication even mentions one of my students by name (first name only) because these are the first books he, an 8th grader, had ever read through to the end.
The first surprise in the week was the biggest: a student punched me. In the back. Hard.
That I’d been hit was surprising enough. I’m sure there are some students who wanted to hit me, and when they threaten I put my hands in my pockets, remind them that I’m a pacifist who will not hit back, and urge them to take a good shot. I’m over six feet tall, have very broad shoulders and weigh about 270, and my students don’t quite believe I’m not really going to hit back, so their threats end up being only macho bluster. Maybe that’s why I got hit from behind, the way a coward would do it.
I’m okay. I was stiff the next day, but there have been no lasting pains from the attack other than the one I know I will never shake. You see, the boy who hit me wasn’t one of the ones who makes threats. He is a boy who is usually jolly, smiling and a little silly. He’s the boy I least suspected ever would do such a thing. It seemed like neutral Switzerland had declared war. And that’s the problem; if you can’t trust Switzerland to be peaceful, who can you trust?
I never really liked surprises. I still don’t.