It’s a new school year and the grade 7 students, having left the safety of elementary behind, are intimidated by the size of the building, by the size of the grade nine students, by the new routine of changing classes for each subject.
I love the grade sevens. They’re cute and wide eyed and nervous. I’ll love them when they’re young ladies and gentlemen leaving junior high and headed to high school where they’ll be the little guys again.
The class comes into my room and one little guy at the front of the row whispers, “Mme. Jones, I forgot my cahier.”
“You forgot your cahier,” I whisper back in mock shock. “What are we going to do?”
“I don’t know,” his voice is so quiet, I can hardly hear him.
I squat down to be at eye level. “I know,” I say with a wink. “You’ll have to bring me a chocolate bar and then I proceed to get the class started on the lesson.
Early the next morning, the little guy arrives at my door holding out a Crispy Crunch.
“What’s this for?” I ask.
“You said I had to bring you a chocolate bar.”
“Oh, sweetie, I was joking. Here, let’s share.” I break the bar in half and send him on his way.
A couple of weeks later, it’s meet the teacher night and his parents come in. I’m embarrassed to meet them. They must think I’m a monster, that junior high is terrible after the sheltered world of elementary.
“I’m so sorry,” I say.
My comment is greeted with puzzled looks. “What for?”
“Didn’t your son tell you what happened?”
“He only said he had to bring his French teacher a chocolate bar.”
I relate the story and to my immense relief they laugh. “You’re his favorite teacher,” they tell me. Thank goodness for understanding parents and great kids.