My kids don’t think that I can text.
Somewhere in New Jersey, my parents just read that sentence and laughed, because they remember how many times in my youth I went over the monthly text messaging limit on our family cell phone plan.
Nevertheless, since I am somewhere between 30 and 10,000 years old, it is literally impossible that my fingers dance across a phone key pad with anywhere near the dexterity demonstrated daily by my 11- and 12-year-old students. This makes using text speak in the classroom doubly fun.
“OMG, you guys,” I might say, “You might LOL, but this is serious. We need to get to work.”
“MS. B!” they exclaim, “YOU CAN TEXT?”
“You bet,” I respond, “should I take a picture of what you’re doing right now and text it to your mom?”
“NO NO NO NO,” and they scurry away to pretend to work, for at least 15 seconds of teacher bliss.
All of this said, my children would be shocked to discover that I have spent at least an hour of my Saturday night exchanging texts with the other sixth grade Communication Arts teacher, my ever faithful mentor teacher.
What do we plan to do when the state visits this week? [Give a pre-test, it's lit circle time.]
Why am I so anxious about this particular Monday morning? [Post-test silliness is getting out of hand.]
What do we need to do to survive 5 more weeks of breakfast duty? [Be more positive. And I need to stop, "doing too much."]
And all of this is accompanied by the occasional, dare I confess, whirlwind of “abbrevs” and emoticons.
While carrying on this business-like text conversation, I am also logged into Facebook, listening to something on YouTube in the background, and typing away on gchat.
In theory, I’m also prepping lit circles for tomorrow and writing this blog post.
Never let anyone downplay the beauty of multi-tasking, it’s a symphony in motion. Somewhere, north of the city, I can hear my students’ minds exploding with this mental image of their decrepit, Comm. Arts teacher engaged in such levels of technology.
All of this is to say that we as teachers are more complicated beings than our students ever see, know, or acknowledge. Which makes me think that my kids are probably more complicated than I can or will ever realize.
Which, sadly, means that there is no quick and simple magic wand that I can wave to make the next five weeks go smoothly. The complicated minds of the pre-adolescents will be spinning faster and faster, and until 1:05 PM on May 25th, I will still be running circles in order to keep up.