This is the best time of the school year. I don't mean because we only have two and five-sevenths days left to go. No, I mean that the students and I are simpatico. We know what to expect from each other. We don't yank each other's chain. Rattle each other's cage. Rain on each other's parade. We peacefully coexist.
It's a balancing act, really. To get to this point without being that battleaxe who makes kids quiver as they approach the desk. Or the buddy who gossips and jokes along with them. A professional distance must be maintained, tempered with an aura of approachability.
The down side of this fait accompli is that I find myself fielding questions the minute I walk into the classroom. Not soul-searching questions, nor lesson-stalling questions. Simple greetings. "How was your Mother's Day, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom? Did you enjoy your weekend? Did you do anything fun?" Easy enough to join in their banter. But by this time of the year, I would like to proceed. To take attendance without ten other thoughts rattling around in my head.
I can't be rude. Shut them down. That would be altering the status quo. So I will grin and bear them for the short time we have left. They're really good kids. All the subs say so. Newmentia, Basementia, and Elementia are at the top of the substitutes' wish list. Students are polite, eager to please, and, for the most part, know when to stop the shenanigans. I need to bask in the light of their good will while I can.
I will be nurturing a new crop soon enough.