Here I am. Sitting at the back table. Reading with one of my students. The others are silent reading. I hear a rustle from the coat closet. I simply say, “whoever is hiding in the coat closet needs to come out now and get back in their seat.”
I turn back to finish reading with the student at the table. One student climbs out from under a pile of book bags. He says, “this kid is in here too!”
“Ok, kid come out of the coat closet,” I sigh. Unfortunately, I am neither shocked nor surprised that these two have found their way into this situation.
I watch now, to make sure both of them end up back in their seats. The second student begins to rustle the book bags on top of him. I suppose he has now decided he cannot get away with hiding any longer.
It was, literally, like the scene from Willy Wonka where he hobbles down the path and then somersaults in front of the crowd. Out from the closet rolls this student. He emerges from the book bags feet first, completely tucked inside his shirt. He makes a complete roll to his feet and manages, in one swift motion, to pop out of his shirt, stand up, and walk to his seat. He never broke stride.
I cannot decide if I am angry he was in the closet to begin with, frustrated that I did not see him and the other student crawl in there, or overwhelmingly impressed that he managed that whole fluid motion without running into desks or getting caught in his own shirt…
These are the kinds of questions I have to ask myself daily as a fourth grade teacher…