I don’t know about you, but we had Wednesday off. Wednesday?! Talk about a wrench in the finely-tuned machine that is the routine of my classroom. 😉 I think it’s a first, interrupting the week that way. It threw us all for a loop. Everybody thought today was Monday. I was checking homework today, and I get to one kid who says,

“I thought that was due Thursday.”

“Ummm…It is.”


Plus, I took Monday off because it was my birthday. Just ‘cuz. And I was super-productive: I walked my boy to school, I ate some bacon (that precooked frozen bacon at Costco is one of the wonders of the modern world — 45 seconds to bacon!), took a nap, puttered in the yard, skated, and went out to dinner. Beauty. The problem was upon my return.

For some reason, seventh graders obsess about birthdays. It happens year after year; I’ll be in the middle of explaining something, and one excited hand has been up the whole time. I finish, and finally call on the kid.

“Tomorrow’s my birthday.”

Thanks for sharing.

And of course, that unleashes a torrent of “my birthday’s in a week” sort of things.

Save it for circle time.

I don’t usually tell anyone at school when it’s my birthday. It’s just easier that way. Also, ever since my 40th (back in aught-one), I’ve been a bit leery. That was when the secretaries pranked me by hanging dozens of pizza boxes from the ceiling (I used to eat pizza every day at break – I still consider it the world’s most perfect food…you know, circle of life and all that), hiding my school clothes (I change after riding my bike), stuffing my school shoes with newspaper, TPing my desk, and putting giant banners all over my room (I especially don’t like to tell the kids). I got a little peeved, and decided to leave the pizza boxes, like so many cardboard mobiles, hanging for the rest of the year. In fact, when the kids turned in end-of-novel projects, I used the boxes as display boards, and taped their projects to the them.

I didn’t tell the kids I was going to be gone, and I certainly didn’t tell them it was my birthday. But our “Happiness Committee” (or “Staff Morale Committee” or whatever it’s called) put up TWO posters in my room. I only saw one of them.  So I returned to choruses of “Happy Birthday,” interruptions to ask what I did for my birthday, and…hugs. I didn’t realize until now what a huggy bunch this is. I guess that fits with the whole what-are-you-seven-years-old thing we have going this year. I spent all day deploying The Bubble.

But really, all the happy birthdays and such are really just an opening for them to talk more about their own upcoming or just passed birthdays.

“What did you do for your birthday?

“I took a..”

“On my birthday, I gonna…”

Save it for circle time.