Friday was the last day of school–at least, the last day with students–and as we neared the end of class, I looked at the exhausted faces of my 7th graders in their little Zoom boxes. One was bouncing, as he had been for the past twelve weeks of remote learning, on what I imagine was an exercise-ball-cum-desk-chair. Another was practicing his pitching skills by throwing a ball against his bedroom wall, then catching it. Then throwing it, then catching it. Another, this one a girl, was smoothing and adjusting her hair in her “Zoom mirror.” She had been adjusting her hair for twelve weeks.
But I said nothing about any of it. The last three months had made us all weary. And it had been an especially difficult and traumatic week.
I took a breath. “Well, my lovely students, we have 15 minutes left of class. Fifteen minutes until you are officially 8th graders. So we’re going to use this 15 minutes to do one last thing.”
The Pitcher stopped throwing his baseball against the wall and turned to face his computer. The Hair-smoother stopped smoothing. The Bouncer kept bouncing. It’s hard not to bounce when you’re thirteen and you’re sitting on a rubber exercise ball and the world is on fire. [Read more…]