Strangely Quiet

Does anyone else look at this photo and get the distinct feeling that something is about to explode?



Well, maybe the reason I get that feeling is because I know what happened five seconds later. . .


I also know all the drama that happened before we managed to take that first picture where twenty third graders are lined up in three neat rows and are (miraculously!) all looking at the camera. Just look at that second picture again, and you might not need to use much imagination to understand what a feat it was to organize the chaos in the first place. Photo shoots right before summer vacation are like that.

If you had been standing anywhere nearby, here are just a few examples of what you probably would have heard:

Teacher: “Let’s have all the girls sit on the fence. If you are not a girl, get off the fence. C, stop climbing the fence, you are not a girl. K, get off the fence!”

Girls: “Miss Beiler, make the boys stop trying to push us off the fence!”

Teacher: “Ok, everybody stand straight and tall. No, not you guys in the front! You’re supposed to be sitting straight and tall.”

Now it’s already more than three weeks since the end of school, and these pictures feel like something out of a different world. A world that I love and miss, even though I’m enjoying the summer break.

My life has been strangely quiet ever since I sent these twenty miniature noisemakers out of my classroom for the last time. When I got them to write down one thing they often heard me say this school year, about half of them wrote, “Shhhhhh!” But even if I had to quiet the classroom umpteen times a day, I loved teaching this amazing group of students. They’ll have a place in my heart forever.


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