Monday, April 8

i need to tell you a story

My classes recently finished a short story unit.  Among the authors we read were: Richard Wright, Roald Dahl [Fun fact: his last word was the F-bomb] and Flannery O'Connor.  As a final activity, we did a rotating discussion where the students had to answer questions as if they were one of the above authors.  Four students go in the "inner circle" at a time, and the rest of the class responds to the conversation via writing.  

On Friday, after a few minutes of discussion, one of my shyer students entered the circle.  He's an awesome kid, but tends to keep to himself, so the class as a whole doesn't know him very well.  Once seated he turned to me, "So...are we supposed to answer the questions with, like, 'I statements?'  Like we're actually the author?"  I replied in the affirmative and he turned back with a nod.  His assigned character was Flannery O'Connor.

Then a question was posed.  The quiet student stared down at his desk for a moment and then looked up.  When he opened his mouth, a glorious, glorious thing happened.

The sounds that escaped his lips belonged to a confident, elderly, southern woman.  I mean--this kid was going for it!  He had mustered up his inner feminine squeal, and began, "I DO DECLARE-!"

Oh the beauty.  The ingenuity!  I, along with the rest of the class, laughed so hard I cried.  The performance could not have come from someone more unexpected.  And his peers were eating it up!  You should have seen the way they cheered him on.  Someone stood, raised the roof air-style, and woofed, "Flannery in da house!"  Others offered fist pumps.

Order was momentarily discarded, and you know what?  I didn't mind a bit.  Because that kid--that adorable kid--rather strutted out of class.  And I don't think he has ever strutted before in his life.

It was simply magical.



  1. You, my friend, are teaching right!! I hope you know, this absolutely just made my day!! Brilliance, pure brilliance! :)

  2. You did it again!! You are so awesome. You make me miss the classroom SOO much. What a difference you made in his life! So sweet.