If you give a middle school teacher a minute,

She might want to grab a fresh cup of coffee.

As she’s heading out to the staff room,

A student might beg her to stay and supervise while he microwaves his popcorn.

While they are waiting, they’ll get into a conversation about his castle design and the materials he’ll need for building his castle model.

Once the popcorn is finally done and she’s about to lock the door behind her,

She’ll realize that she has lost her keys.

She’ll frantically search her classroom and try to mentally re-trace her steps,

Finally recalling that she had stopped by the gym earlier and probably left them there.

Thinking of the gym will make her remember that she needs to send out an email about a location change for basketball practice tomorrow afternoon,

So she’ll quickly sit down at her computer to send the message before she forgets again.

While digging her keyboard out from under the pile of papers that have just been turned in,

She’ll find the rubric that she needs to print and copy for an assignment that she’ll be giving next block.

As she heads out of her classroom and down the hallway toward the gym to look for her keys,

She’ll stop to help some students who are cleaning up the bag of popcorn that has spilled everywhere.

She’ll leave them to finish the clean-up and hurry to the gym to look for her keys, but as soon as she gets through the gym door, she’ll get hit on the head by an errant volleyball.

The student responsible will rush up to ask if she’s OK, reminding her of the student with the upset stomach that left her class earlier to wait to be picked up by the office. 

She’ll weave her way through the crowded hallway to check, and will meet the student and his mom on their way out the door. 

After a quick conversation about what he will be missing later during Science class, she’ll remember the rubric in her hand and excuse herself to go and make her copies before class starts again.

She’ll finally make it to the teacher work room only to realize that the staples need to be replaced and the double sided copying option isn’t working. 

Thankfully, Mrs. Howard will offer to take care of her rubric and send it up when it’s ready,

So she’ll check the time and notice that the bell is about to ring. 

She’ll figure she still has enough time to quickly get that cup of coffee before she goes upstairs,

So she’ll rush into the staff room.

And chances are,

The coffee pot will be empty.


(credit to Laura Numeroff, whose book “If You give a Moose a Muffin” inspired this post, and to my colleagues who offered many excellent suggestions!)