09 Mar Slice of Life: Lunch Dates #T4TMoments
Do you know when we will be breaking for lunch?
I am guessing between 11:30 and 12:00? Does that work for you?
I want to do what the group needs, but it would be great if we could break at 11:55.
I will check with the group, but I think that should work.
Great. Then I can keep my lunch date.
She walks back to her seat with a skip in her step and a smile on her face. “What lunch date does she have in the middle of the school day?” I think. “Wish I had lunch dates on a school day.”
I was keeping track of time and decide to wrap the group up at 11:50 so we didn’t run over.
This seems like a good stopping point. Let’s take a 35-minute lunch break and come back at 12:25.
Can we have ten more minutes on this and then break? We are not quite done and don’t want to lose our momentum.
What do I do? I am fine with taking more time, but I know a teacher has a time commitment.
Why don’t we do this, if you are ready to break go ahead and come back at 12:25 to finish up. If you want to keep working for ten minutes go ahead and come back at 12:35. We will regroup then.
She gives me a wink and off she goes.
Later the teacher who asked for extra time comes to me to apologize for making things complicated by her request.
No worries at all – this works out just fine. I knew someone had an important appointment at 11:55 so I wanted to honor that request.
You mean the lunch date?
My face must express my confusion.
The lunch date? Is that what we are talking about?
I remain silent – not wanting to talk out of turn.
Come with me.
I follow this teacher out the door and down the hall. She points at a door that is propped open. I see the teacher sitting at a table that is set for a special lunch with a student.
She does it every day. She gives up her lunch to eat with one of her students – a lunch date.
I still feel a warm rush and a smile spread across my face when I picture this scene. It is, in my mind, a mentor teaching move. This teacher sacrifices her lunch and prep (on some days) to eat lunch with one of her students. This may not seem like “prep” at first, but on reexamination I wonder if it is one of the most essential types of “prep” we can do as educators. When we take the time to connect and understand our students we build relationships that will ultimately help us teach them.
We are not teaching the standards – we are teaching children the standards. I think this distinction is an important one to remember. We spend so much time unpacking and mapping the standards. Do we spend the same amount of time getting to know our students? Do we think about how to teach them the objective rather than just teach the objective? Do we make sure we know our students well enough to engage them in the process of learning?
There are many ways to bring the “lunch date” to life in a classroom. I know I will be thinking more about “prepping” in this way.