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Lightbulb Moment

May 24, 2011

“Ms. C, can I go help George?” Bryce whispered to me.

“Sure,” I answered.

I was a bit confused, since Bryce was nearly issued demerits for excessive celebration when he realized we were watching “Magic School Bus: Photosynthesis”.  Helping George would distract from his enjoyment of learning about chlorophyll. (No sarcasm here. This kid was pumped.)

Earlier in the day, students completed their standardized test in reading.  The next day would bring Round 2:  Math.  My college days taught me that cramming is always a good strategy, so we used playing cards to review various math skills.

George managed to mix up several decks of cards, which inevitably brought out my test-induced lack of patience.  When he brought me the wad of cards, I snapped at him to fix them while we watched the movie.  He sighed loudly, and sulked to the table.

Bryce watched this all go down, but he was too excited about seeing Mrs. Frizzle to worry about George.  However, as the movie began, I observed Bryce constantly look over his shoulder to check on George’s progress.  Normally, these two spend their time trying to irritate each other.  I thought Bryce was gathering ammo for their next Battle of Words.

He eventually came back to ask me the question that made my eyes fill with tears: Would I allow him to help George?

As I sat, stressed and sleep-deprived over our standardized testing, I admired the citizenship of my students.  It was then that I had my own “lightbulb moment”.  Seeing students help each other is the single best thing about teaching.  Whether they pass the test or not, I know that the teachers at my school have done their job.

Note: This is part of the Slice of Life Story challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  Head on over there to find other teachers writing to improve their craft, as well as great ideas about teaching writing.


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6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2011 8:54 pm

    Your last line is a gem. Thanks for sharing what we all need to hear.
    Ruth

  2. May 24, 2011 9:18 pm

    One of those nicest moments that make the year worth all the angst, etc. I think it’s great you noticed, too!

  3. May 25, 2011 4:01 pm

    I find moments like these usually happen when you need it most.

  4. May 27, 2011 12:07 pm

    Your writing has so so much voice and is a pleasure to read. I love the line about your stress-induced lack of patience.

  5. grade4wizard permalink
    May 27, 2011 1:46 pm

    You are clearly a passionate teacher. Keep collecting these moments.
    Terje

  6. May 28, 2011 10:21 am

    You found just the right details to include at just the right moments (The excitement over the movie, the stress that testing had caused, the usual antagonistic talk that these boys exchange). I could easily picture this moment and enjoyed experiencing it vicariously!

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