My students LOVE to tell me stories. I tell myself that it is NOT because they want to delay the lesson. They just want to share their lives with me. They're selfless like that. So this morning, before I even made it to my desk after the tardy bell, a loquacious lass raised her hand.
"Mrs. Hillbilly Mom? Can I tell you something? It's not really about science."
"Well, you can tell me while I hand out these papers."
"Okay. So...I'm deadly afraid of clowns. And I'm afraid of showers. I guess I've watched too many scary movies. So every time I take a shower, I'm afraid there's a clown behind the shower curtain. I leave it open a little bit. My mom gets mad at me for that. When I'm done, I leave that shower curtain pushed back so nothing can get behind it. Every time I go in the bathroom, I make sure to push that shower curtain back. Oh, and I'm also afraid of the dark."
"I'm guessing something terrible happened."
"YES! Last night, my mom told me to go in the bathroom and get the conditioner. It was dark in there. I turned on the light, and the shower curtain yanked open, and THERE WAS A CLOWN IN THERE! I almost peed my pants. I ran out of there screaming. My dad had got all dressed up like a clown, with makeup and everything, and hid in the shower just to scare me! I was freaking out."
"Did they record it? Like to put on YouTube, or send in to one of those shows?"
"That's sick! They went to all that trouble just to scare you? Without even recording it to laugh about and show their friends? You poor thing."
"I know, right?"
Toward the end of the hour, when it came time to watch a Learn 360 video about the space station, I felt a little bit guilty when I turned out the classroom light. Let the record show that the storyteller of the hour moved to a seat up front...directly next to the window, with its paltry stream of light.