Whack a mole

Teaching middle school = playing whack a mole

Eighth grade is actually beginner level:  They’ve been with me for three years and it’s a slow game.  “Bonjour!  Scarlet, passez les livres, s’il vous plaît. Take your hands out of her hair, Egbert. Ouvrez les livres …”  Not too bad. They pop up one at a time and stay down for a while.

Seventh grade gets a little more exciting.  “Yesterday, we…sit down, Lancelot. Stop coloring on Clarence’s arm, Celestine, Okay, so let’s look at number seven.  Yes, Penelope, we did have homework….”  The moles pop up in bunches and are more persistent.

Sixth grade is expert level. “Bonjo…what is it, Caltrops? Okay, give him back his pencil.  Yes, I mean it.  So get a pencil from the pencil cup. So, Bon…Luigi, sit in your chair..Melisande, help Luigi back into his chair.  Alors, Bonjour, take out…Why are you standing at my elbow, Cardamon?  Oh, I see, you got your jacket caught in your braces.  Ladies and gentlemen, stop laughing, it could happen to anyone.  Get a nurse pass, Cardamon.  No, I won’t give you scissors so you can blindly cut your jacket out of your teeth.  Go on.  Yes you have to go.  So, where were we? We don’t hit.  Okay, we don’t act like we’re hitting.  I don’t care if he hit you first.” Pop pop pop poppity poppity poppity…A virtuoso on the drums would have a hard time whacking all the moles.

All the moles are whacked, a second’s silence and there’s a PA announcement about a cancelled practice.  35 hands waving frantically: Can I use the phone?

Whack a mole.  A game you can’t win.  Besides, the only prize is that you get to do it again tomorrow.

(and if you didn’t notice, all the names and many genders have been changed, but all this really happened today)

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