It hit me later…two of the fifth-graders from Mrs. Smalley’s room came by to ask for a couple of spare rulers. And ten minutes later, Mrs. Nix popped in.
A. Rulers? Really? I was too busy with the pancake making and general kid management to realize what a lame request that was. Anyway, I have to think Mrs. Smalley—one of Mrs. Nix’s favored few [Mr. Taylor calls them ‘the cool kids’] who join her for morning coffee in the principal’s office— was launching a little recon patrol.
B. Two kids to carry spare rulers? Boy, I’m lame.
Anyway, there she was…and clearly we were far from adhering to her treasured schedule slot, which called for writing.
Undeterred, I welcomed her and asked her if she had any pancake memories. That threw her. I just told her that one of my favorites was going to The Haven on Friday nights with my family and ordering chocolate chip pancakes, cutting them down the middle and swapping half for half of my brother’s strawberries-and-whipped-cream pancake order.
And she actually had an answer…Saturday was pancake day for her two kids and she and her husband would pour the batter from an arm’s length away to come up with all kinds of random shapes. Well, she just opened the door for that one. The kids pleaded with her to do that for them. She looked at me and I just shrugged. I had to admit—I loved the idea.
“But first!” I said. The kids groaned. They know what those two words mean—some little learning task is coming.
They were right. They had to take their journals and write 50 words on the Mrs. Nix’s splatter art approach to pancake creation.
Nice move, Ms. Page. We squeezed in our writing after all.