Third Grade, Friday, Recess

Picking students up from lunch, one of my teammates noted one of my students crying. She did so because one of her students said:

I spy…

a kid crying.

Do you want to play I Spy?

My teammate considered the offer and decided she couldn’t handle a game of identifying children in some sort of trauma or another so she passed.

She shared this with me at recess but we were interrupted by a girl running over to complain that a classmate had used a bad word. Said classmate followed quickly, defending himself against these allegations. He said:

I didn’t say that! I just said slowpoke!…

No, I didn’t. I said the F word.

It was like we could watch his face as he worked on a believable lie and then realized it was totally not believable and he had no better option. So he just owned up.

While we tried to recover from that one, several girls ran up, full of excitement. They began talking all at once, but we managed to pull out the big idea…

We found a dead rat out in the field! And it’s decomposing!

This time I could see the emotions on my teammate’s face. She was horrified by the idea of a dead rat. But thrilled to hear them use the word decomposing as it’s one we’ve been discussing in science. She handled the situation beautifully, suggesting that they observe the decomposition from a great distance and congratulating them on their use of that word.


It turns out one of the students from another class had kicked the dead rat and it hit the shoe of a student. The other teacher involved had their student write an apology note to the student with the tainted shoe. I have to wonder exactly what that note said…

“I’m sorry I got dead rat on your shoe.”
“I’m sorry I tried to play soccer with a dead rat.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t just watch the decomposition but had to help it along.”

My job, it is never dull.

Leave a Reply