I stand at the intersection of the English hall and the main hall of our building. It's 7:45 am and the bell just rang, signaling that students can begin entering their first block classes. It's a small trickle at first. Each day the seniors seem to arrive just a little bit later, playing chicken with the tardy bell and a d-hall slip.
Across the hall from me, a teacher greets passing students with enthusiasm I cannot muster -- at least not for his subject area: math. Most students are given some variation of this greeting:
"Good Morning, Jordan! It's another good day for math."
"There's Elise. I know she's ready for math."
I wait. I am keeping an eye on the hall where most students enter. I am looking for a particular student. For over two weeks now I have watched this girl do a pirouette in the middle of the hall just before ducking into math class. About a week ago I started giving her an applause, but today I decided to take it a step further and I can't wait to see how she responds.
The clock ticks closer to the start of class and I start to wonder if I am going to see her at all. She is a senior after all and may be taking her time getting here. Just when I think I'm going to have to go to my own class, I spot her and smile behind my mask.
I quickly step forward, blocking her way to the door, "Hey! Let's both twirl!"
Even with her mask, I can see her eyes light up, "Okay!"
I have her demonstrate a twirl for me and then step away, ready to do one together: "3...2...1..."
And a teacher and student do a pirouette together just outside of math class.