Of Lice and Lockdowns

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry…”

I know, I know, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry…” and yet the teacher in me has each day planned. Notes written down, lesson plans typed out, photocopies made, PowerPoint slides all ready.

All I need to do is whisk into that classroom, log on to the computer, and turn on that Smart Board. 

But, the teacher in me also knows I must be ready for things to go awry. 

Case 1: Connect the Dots

Lesson Plan:  Recall Perspective and draw a horizon line.

All right class, you know how we have been looking at perspective in both our drama and art lessons?

Yes, yes…that’s right, thanks for sharing, Student A

Today, we are going to take what we have learned and turn it into a Perspective Art project. To begin we will draw a horizon line…Pardon me? What’s a horizon? Well, you know how we’ve talked about that point where the earth meets the sky?…So take your ruler…You don’t have a ruler? Let’s grab some rulers from the art supplies…So take a ruler, and draw a horizontal line. How can we draw a horizontal line? Well, you can eyeball it, or you can take your ruler and measure up from the bottom of the page, make three dots and connect them. Yes, let me help you with that…

And just like that, drawing a horizon line becomes the first ten minutes of class. 

Fortunately, I get to make a note of that for the next time I teach this lesson.

Case 2: Don’t get too close!

Lesson Plan: Use our bodies to communicate a variety of props and statues to the audience

In today’s lesson, we will work with a group to form an object or a statue. We will learn to communicate silently and work together…Yes, we will work together. For example, if your group is asked to create a chair, you could have two group members kneel on the floor together…Pardon me?… Lice?…Yes I heard there were some cases of lice…

Alright, in today’s lesson, we will work alone to communicate a variety of props to an audience….

Note to self: Lice is prevalent in the fall. Students don’t want to be too close, so don’t plan physical contact for this time of year.    

Case 3: Keep calm and Carry On

Lesson plan: Lunch

And that’s all for today class, thank you for your hard work. Your projects are looking wonderful! 

ATTENTION MIDDLE SCHOOL, LOCKDOWN, GO INTO LOCKDOWN, THIS IS NOT A DRILL

In this case, I managed to be in the hallway for that command. This is when the real teacher in me kicks in. 

Alright kids, there is a room right here we can go into. Please find a place on the floor away from all doors and windows. No, this is not a drill, but this is the safest place for us to be right now. You are doing great. Let’s count how many students and staff we have in here right now. Yes, nice and quiet…Don’t worry, I can squish that spider for you…Maybe don’t lean so close to that other student, she is looking a little crowded… Are you worried? Do you have any questions? Can I pray with you?

And as we know, the lockdown ended, and we went into a “secure the building” code. So much for Term-End quizzes, and collecting notebooks from some classes. Good-bye to a bathroom break and time to eat lunch. Hello to,”let’s distract ourselves with a few minutes of math games on the computers.”

And yet, we carry on.

Because we know the best laid plans may often go awry, yet the best laid plans are often the ones forged in the moment.

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