Friday, October 4, 2013

Is She or Isn't She?

My students think I might be a vampire.

It started with the sign on my desk that reads, “Vampire Parking: Violators Will Be Bitten.” This fun notice keeps kids from sitting at my desk, the one spot in the room that is always pristine. While I don’t always have the time or the energy to keep the entire room neat when I must share it with over forty children every day, I can at least protect my desk and its contents.

At first, my students laugh at the sign.

“Oh, that Mrs. DePetrillo. She’s so silly.” After all, I have a number of funny wall adornments in the room such as a “No Whining Zone” sign and a Spiderman poster. But when they see me actually sit at the desk, their minds start to put it all together and they use their inferring skills. If the desk only allows vampires to park there and I’m parked there, then I must be a vampire.

Let’s add to this some other evidence I’ve overheard students discussing recently:

1.       She wears a lot of black.

2.       She is kind of pale.

3.       She never puts the lights on in the classroom. Why does she like it so dark?

4.       The blinds on the windows are always closed. Is she trying to keep the sun out?

5.       She moves pretty fast. She was at her desk and now she’s already at the front of the room!

6.       Her dog looks like a werewolf.

Factor in that some other adults in the building have been adding fuel to the fire with tales of me requesting specially tinted windows that block UV rays or of having seen me in Target in the mirror aisle and not seeing my reflection and we’ve got some very convincing arguments here.

Just last week, I was elbow deep in a math lesson, scribbling away on the whiteboard with my back to the class. When I turned around, more than one student had out a small mirror, trying to capture my reflection. They’re being very scientific about it at least. Running tests. Asking questions. Supporting theories. Refining conclusions.

I told the students that we’re going to turn this speculation into a writing assignment where they must give their opinion on the matter with supporting evidence. Am I vampire or am I not and why do they think so? I plan to give them more evidence for both sides of the issue as the month of October unfolds. It’ll be a fun game to play in between the tedious and tortuous NECAP state testing where they basically have their little brains fried and I have to watch it happen and can offer no assistance. Trust me, fried brains is a tough smell to get out of the room.

Anyway, they appear to be excited about this writing endeavor. One student even asked me if when the assignment is done, could I tell them the truth about whether or not I am a vampire. I answered with a cryptic, “We’ll see.”

I can’t wait to see their reaction when I wear my “I Heart Vampires” T-shirt to school.



Jannine Gallant said...

I love this. I bet you're the teacher the kids all love, too. What a creative way to get them to think and write!

Christine DePetrillo said...

The discussions that are unfolding are downright hilarious, Jannine! We're having so much fun!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Talk about a hands on, sorry, teeth in assignment. Great fun. You sound like a great teacher.

Betsy Ashton said...

I'm in favor of doing anything to keep children's attention. I taught at the university level for nearly a decade. In lecture halls, I'd often sit on the edge of the stage and speak softly. Or I'd do the opposite and stand on my desk and shout. Anything to keep them awake at 1pm! Good job, Christine

Alicia Dean said...

OMG...I LOVE this post. I myself am a wannabe vampire, although I have no students to torture with the idea. This is a very fun, creative idea. I bet the students adore you! (even though they might fear you just a little :-))

Christine DePetrillo said...

Next week, I've got a blood red juice drink for my water bottle and I'm going to paint my nails black this weekend!

Diane Burton said...

Sure wish you'd been my teacher when I was in school. What fun!

Leah St. James said...

Too funny! Like Diane, I wish you'd been my teacher! I'll bet your students love you. :-)

Barbara Edwards said...

Oh the minds of children...