I am getting ready to return, to my classroom. Here is a bit a “fiction” from a novel a teacher friend and I are writing.
The mind of 4th grade boys….
Mr. Heron’s 4th grade class was ready for morning meeting. Or ? He played his tin whistle, and everyone came to the front of the room. Just as soon as the greeting began, beeeeeeep. “ Good morning. The strings need to come down to the band room for run through for today’s concert”. Mai Nhia and 6 other girls quietly left the room. There was still about 18 students left. Good.
“Let’s play a game of Kaboom”. Mr. Heron suggested. “ yeah! The students chimed in. Da’Savior said “ Can I be the middle one?” “ Sure”.
Where was the ball? He was stumped. Everyone stood up, looking expectantly, then scanning the room. “Mr. Heron, it’s right here!” Zunita pulled out a mini- volleyball from behind the overhead projector. Da’savior started saying in his loud, proud voice “ KAAAAAAAAAAAAA..” meanwhile Zunita passed the ball to Guatavo, who passed it to Ia, who passed it to Shotiayana, and so on, until Da’Savior exclaimed, ( at he end of a very long breathe_ “Boom!”. “ Dang it!” said Genawl, who had the ball. He sat down. Da’savior dramaticly took the biggest breathe possible, like a pitcher doing a wind up. Some girls giggled.
Beeeeep “ would the percussion group and the singers please report to the band room now for the concert?”
“Dang it!” spat Da’Savior. “ Can’t I just miss this one!”. “ No, Da’Savior, the percussionst are counting on you. You can lead the game tomorrow….” He looked glum, corn-row braids, his left eye missing, his right eye focused and always ready.
Mr. Heron looked around the room. There were 8 kids left in the circle.
What do you do next? This was a great group, that really got along.
All of a sudden, he could not help but notice Gustavo, with a huge, toothy grin, looking off into space.
“Gustavo…. What are you thinking?”
“ Ah come one … it must be good! We really like your ideas, Gustavo!”
Gustavo looked around carefully, then said
“ Inside of my mind, there are squirrels juggling knives”
Everyone in the room erupted into laughter. Gustavo smiled.
Mr. Heron was speechless. After the laugher died down, he said
“Can I quote you on that, Gustavo? That’s brilliant. I will never forget that image.”
“ Sure, Mr. Heron”.
Inside my mind, there are squirrels juggling knives. This would be the craziest scene imaginable—wild, pointless, dangerous, and ready to spin out of control in a second.
This, Mr. Heron thought, is the perfect metaphor for the mind of a 4th grade boy.
After wiping the tears from their eyes, Mr. Heron decided to skip the guided reading lesson, have the remaining student enter their writer’s notebooks. No one complained, and within 3 minutes, the room was filled with the earnest sound of pencils scratching into notebooks.