“14, 16, 18, 19, 20.”
I spend all day counting kids. Once they’ve all arrived for the day, I spend the rest of it counting them up, figuring out how many are missing.
“20 today. 14 at the carpet. 2 at the water fountain. So currently 4 . . . ?”
They are somewhere of course. Lingering in the bathroom. Shuffling along the halls. Hiding behind doors. Not coming in from outside. Walking slower than slow.
“I count 18. Is that someone in the cloakroom? So down just 1?”
Resisting what’s expected for resisting’s sake. To be in control. To have power. Just because.
“20. 15 are in the room. 2 in the washroom. And the rest are . . . ?”
Feeling disagreeable and out of sorts. Trying on emotions that might fit that feeling. Sad? Mad? Wronged? Frustrated?
“I’m at 16. You? Oh, no, is that yelling in the hall one of ours?”
Passive aggression is an art form. I have some well developed artists. Breathe deep.
“Thank you to all 10 of you who made it back to the classroom after the bell went. Who knows where . . . ?”
We joke that we need a daily search party. That we can deploy multiple times.
“Why do I keep getting 19? Who is missing? Did the one to one reader pick someone up?”
Reasons are a mix of simple and complicated. Our classroom is home. They all make it back. The door is never closed.
“I think they’re all here. Count again. 20. Every one.”
I spend all day counting kids.
I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.
Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.