Friday, March 13, 2020


Some days I wonder if anything I say goes into the sixth grade brains I teach.

Most of the time, the kids seem pretty oblivious.

Take today, for example.

Our district gives interim exams three times each year. Supposedly they are a predictor of the state's blessed event. I have questions about whether that's actually true, but that is a post for another day.

Anyway, my kids did pretty well on the last test, beating the district average by 8 points. Our administration wanted to reward them for their hard work, so today each student received five "bravo bucks," which can be spent in the school bodega. The bodega has items like gatorade and chips and candy.

Today, my assistant principal came in to pass out the bravo bucks. After she left, O said to me, "So what am I supposed to do with this?"

"You spend it at the bodega," I said.

"Where's that?"

I am surprised that he doesn't know. The sixth graders go down the main staircase to leave at the end of the day. The bodega is held two days a week at the Welcome Center, right at the bottom of those stairs. I'm not sure how anyone could walk down the stairs and past the Welcome Center without noticing.

"It's at the Welcome Center on Tuesdays and Fridays after school."

"Where's the Welcome Center?"

"It's that big desk (probably eight feet long), right in the front when you walk in."

O still seems confused. "Where you get tardy slips if you are late," I say.

"I'm never late," says O.

"It's that big wooden desk," I say again.

"Oh yeah. And what am I supposed to do with this?" says O.

"You spend it at the bodega, to buy gatorade and stuff."

"Oh yeah," says O again.

"What am I supposed to write here?" he says, pointing to the lines that clearly say name and date.

And then I wonder why our argumentative essay writing unit is kind of limping along.


Jean said...

You will be missing those sixth grade cherubs! A whole new world of staying home when it's not "vacation" I look forward to your sharing.

Betsy Hubbard said...

This does sound typical and when you realize you are already in the middle of one of these conversations cycling around a helplessness crutch, for me, I find I'm already in too deep. How do they do that so well?

Tamara said...

LOL! (I mean that literally.) Sixth grade. So independent and so not.😂

Anna said...

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