Today BB Bob and another one of the Charmer’s friends, the Chowhound (the boy never. stops. eating.), asked to have lunch with me. I’d been looking for the Charmer, but he was absent (story for another day…grrr), so I said sure. This is the third day in a row that these boys have had lunch with me – the last two, the Charmer and the fourth in their group, the Talker, had been there too, but the Charmer was absent and the Talker had detention, so then there were two.
I was a little surprised, to be honest. BB Bob was one of my kids from last year, but he and I were never particularly close. We got along fine, just nothing beyond. This year, when the Charmer and his friends started coming in for lunch, I assumed that BB Bob was pretty much just along for the ride – better to be with your friends in a teacher’s room than by yourself in the cafeteria. But they came.
Right after we got to my room, BB Bob asked me oh-so-casually how often I talked to his reading teacher. “Do you guys talk, like, all the time?”
“Not really – I don’t see her that much. We have pretty different schedules.” I wondered why he was asking, then I realized.
The day before, I’d told the Charmer that his reading teacher had complimented him. They don’t get along, AT ALL, but she’d made a point of emailing me about him, so I wanted to pass it along. She’d said that he’d really turned things around, which I’m pretty sure means that he’d started to play the game the way she wanted, but whatever, I thought it might help him to know. He hadn’t seemed to much care, but I guess the others had been listening.
BB Bob is a really good reader. Ms. Reading used to compliment him, and I’d heard his current teacher compliment him too. And he was wondering about that.
“She’s told me a bunch of times what a great reader you are.”
He shook his head. “Naw. I’m not.”
“Yes you are! And Ms. Reading used to tell me too, so I know you are.”
He shook his head a moment more, then a slow smile broke out. “Yeah…maybe.”
The conversation moved on, and after 20 minutes or so, the Chowhound said he was going to go outside for the last ten minutes. I assumed BB Bob would take off too, but no. He stayed another two or three minutes – we chatted some more, about his options for next year and why he might not come back to my school, until he suddenly seemed to realize that he was in a room, with a teacher, by himself, BY CHOICE, and he had no idea how to deal with that.
“Uh…I’m going to go outside too.”
“Okay. See you later.”
“Have a good day, Bob.”
“Thanks.” Then a split second later, “Uh, you too.”
So funny to learn that you matter to a kid you never imagined would care.