My class for some unknown reason had read a great deal of books with mice in them this year. It was not planned it was discovered this spring. We read Poppy and Rye, Bless this Mouse, Despereaux ( as a One Book, One School), and Stuart Little. We were finishing the year with a class read of Mouse and the Motorcycle. I had a class set and it looked like a fun read for a few days in May. We began our reading in pairs and sometime I would read aloud to the group. It was not long into this book that I was informed of a mouse ( a real mouse) in the class next door. We thought it all very funny since we were reading about mice who were smart and most of them like to read. (Especially Despereaux I was told by my students. )
We continued on our reading adventure when I learned I had one last observation with my Principal. It was to be a pop in observation so who knew when she would come by. It did not matter to me but I did inform the class she would stop by to watch me teach.
On a Wednesday morning we are beginning our reading when the class began screaming and jumping on chairs. I settled them down to discover a mouse running around the edge of the room. I quickly get after my students for jumping and yelling then call the engineer to come help us out.
We start once again quietly as our principal walks in and sits down at the round table to observe. Her computer is up and she is about to type when my students whisper to her “I wouldn’t sit there if I were you that is where the mouse is – just behind the books.”
She screams, runs across the classroom and sits up on a desk. My students staring at me because I have just gotten mad at them for the same behavior. I know this is my observation but I can’t help it. I turn to the principal and explain that in our classroom we are not sitting on desks and could she please come down. It is just a mouse and we will take care of it.
She agrees and I begin our discussion on comparing characters in our books. The characters we are comparing are – yes, your are right mice. The students are great giving examples and making comparisons. They talk about how the fictional mice really wanted to learn, how they used books to help them and they listened in on conversations to learn.
Here is where I turned to write all this on the board to discover our real mouse sitting with his/her nose poking out between the book boxes listening in (my guess is wanting to know if we had our information straight about mice). He/She decided to make a run for the back of the classroom right between my feet and the observation lesson fell apart.
My principal, who I discovered is very afraid of mice, call for the classroom to be evacuated NOW! I over rode that request long enough to have students take their book, a reading journal and a pencil with them and walk quietly into the hall.
The engineer arrived as we left. I won’t go into that story. We ended up down the hall in a lovely little atrium having a discussion on the value of mice in our ecosystem. You know the lessons must go on. We finished reading our chapter of Mouse and the Motorcycle and my observation came to an end.
The post conference for that lesson was very amusing. She was amazed and pleased that I just kept teaching. It is what we do – we just keep teaching!
Here ends the tale of 2013! Happy Summer everyone!