Fort Fart?

She dove right into it. She dove into her fate. Head first, full speed. There was no going back. 

Picture this: It’s cozy clothes AND Fort Day in my first grade classroom. The clock insists it’s after 2:00 pm on a Friday (when it’s actually just after 1:00 pm because the clock has given up all hope). Mid-math lesson we lost internet connection, so I had to think on my toes… The internet might not work, but our hands and imagination do!

“At the top right corner of your paper, draw a square.” I instructed.

“Which way is right?!” cried a worried voice. 

After providing loose instructions of where to draw shapes on a blank piece of paper I snatched from the printer in the hallway, I told my class to use their imagination and create a picture out of their shapes- NO RULES! That’s when I saw it: tears and flushed cheeks. Time to address meltdown #1,358 of the year. 

Fast forward; post-meltdown. It’s time to show off our masterpieces, but no one knew what was coming next. Mid-sharing, a surprise guest shows up at our door. A second grade teacher…. This wasn’t just any second grade teacher. This was a second grade teacher who was about to change the lives of 16 first graders and one tired first year teacher. 

I can still picture the incident in slow motion when I close my eyes and hear the excitement in her voice as her joy stopped our sharing dead in its tracks. Her joy was impossible to ignore. 

“Is it Fort Day?!”  I watched as she entered the room, each step gaining more speed. Her arms stretched out in front of her, as her body ever so gracefully dove to the ground and she slid right into a perfectly constructed fort. 16 smiles with missing teeth covered by masks were stretched from ear to ear. I couldn’t see them, but I could feel them. 

“That was unexpected.” said J. 

“You better watch out.” I said. “You might end up with her as a second grade teacher.” I smiled to myself as I felt the vibration of my phone. That same daring, diving teacher’s name popped up on my phone. What comes next was something I couldn’t have predicted if I tried. And truthfully, this probably isn’t my story to tell. Hers would be much better, and I can only imagine what it would look like in a graphic novel…but this is something I will remember forever. 

Today: 1:08 PM

“Immediate regrets bc the desk I went under the kid totally farted.” 

And that, ladies and gentlemen was the moment when I made a friend. 

4 comments

  1. I was a little confused about if you are teaching in person(yes?) or virtual (lost internet connection had me wondering) but I read it through a few times and pictured your story. But what I really want to say was it is fantastic and your last line couldn’t be better.
    (And I also love the description of imagining your kids’ missing teeth grins under their masks!)

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  2. I love this whole piece but my favorite line is: The clock insists it’s after 2:00 pm on a Friday (when it’s actually just after 1:00 pm because the clock has given up all hope).

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  3. ack! No!
    We used to have a big fort in our 6th grade team that we would bring out for our election day carnival … it was this big plastic fort, kept up with a box fan blowing into it. … Let’s just say NONE of the teachers volunteered to supervise the games in that fort!

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  4. Ha! Loved her text to you. And your bravery at doing fort day during a pandemic. Hey, you can use this with your class for the rest of the year. “Remember when the second grade teacher dove into x’s fort? Let’s dive into our __ in the same way!”
    One day at a time, tired first year teacher.
    Sincerely,
    A tired 30 + year teacher. : )

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