Thursday morning, I arose around 7:30AM (I love college hours) to prepare for volunteering at the Latina middle school. It wasn't until 8AM and I had turned on the cell phone that I noticed a message from the principal. She needed a sub; however, I assumed that by this time another sub would have been found. I cooked up a bit of oatmeal, had my coffee, and headed off to school...I am very grateful that I made a hearty breakfast. As I was stowing my coat and purse, the principal approached me with a hopeful look on her face. They still needed a sub...so, I stayed for the day.
I was filling in for a 7th grade teacher; not a problem, I enjoy the age group. Her morning classes were reading and language arts; not a problem, I've actually taught this sort of material and can think on my feet. Her afternoon classes posed a bit more of a challenge; phonics (never studied it and have no idea what the symbols mean), math (oh dear, Dad had to tutor me in the evenings amid tears), and social studies (okay, not so bad, they were reading about India). The day went pretty well...and I was very quickly reminded about the difference between boys and girls...girls giggle...INCESSANTLY!
They giggled as I introduced myself. This was a sneaky sort of giggle that indicated they thought me a possible pushover, so I shared that I was so happy to be back in the classroom. They giggled as we reviewed vocabulary words from their novel. I had them think of examples to fit the definition...much giggling that lead me to suspect that I missed a few inside jokes. They giggled when I openly admitted that I needed their help to go through the phonics material. This giggle was a bit prouder, and they volunteered quite readily to "code" the words from the worksheet and explain the reasoning. They attempted giggling after lunch when all were to be reading a novel of their choice. I squashed these giggles by asking them to share with me what was so fun in their novel...silence. One of the ladies shared an extra book with me so I could read too, "Flipped". A good middle level book for ladies. There was less giggling during math class; division with decimal adjustments being made mentally doesn't lend itself to happiness and joy. Giggling abounded during the social studies time. Hmmm...I think I erred in the amount of time that I gave them to work on making flash cards. So, I entered into the giggling with them and shared a few stories of my time volunteering at the Latino middle school (their companion school) and let them ask a few questions about my sisters and Benedictine life.
If you want to know a secret, I enjoyed the giggles.