The phone rang in our classroom. It happens 2 or 3 times a day. I never need to think about it, because we have a Phone Supervisor whose job it is to answer the phone. “Hello, 3E, may I ask whose calling, please?” this student asks each time. It’s one of my favorite jobs to train students for, partly because it is beyond adorable to watch an 8-year-old adopt the mannerisms of an older person, and also because the students learn what it is to be mannerly in such a visible way, multiple times a day. I am careful about training this person, because this is an example of how we should interact with others, displayed over and over again throughout the year.
I think I especially love this classroom job in this day and age because so few students need to answer a landline. Cell phones come with lots of information when a call comes in. Even I often answer calls from people I know with, “Hey!” The formality is lost. It’s not better or worse, but it is different, and it’s not typically a way for kids to learn the etiquette of certain interactions.
Back to our class Phone Supervisor, who is a ball of energy, bounding from chair to phone each time it rings. This characterization will help you to picture the moment that caused me to have uncontrollable giggles.
So, the phone rang. I was working with two students at our group table, which is next to the phone. Our Supervisor was sitting on the other side of the room, working on a computer, headphones on. Earlier in the day, this student’s glasses had broken and the right temple had fallen off. I had taped the glasses up and they had broken again before lunch. (Yes, you’ve guessed it, this is related to the phone-ringing moment.) I taped the glasses up again, and gave them back after lunch.
Can you picture it? Said student is typing away at a computer, taped glasses perched on the nose, and red headphones over the head. To tell the truth, I hadn’t taken this all in until the phone rang. Because of the headphones, the student didn’t hear the phone, so students nearby informed our supervisor that the phone was ringing. What happened next was truly comical.
“Oh!” was exclaimed, and the child exploded from the chair to answer. In the process, the headphones and glasses went flying in opposite directions. Flying! The child was startled into action and the result was such a comical series of events to watch, that many students formed the letter “O” with their mouths. I started to chuckle, but the moment settled in on me, and I quite literally was taken over by a true case of genuine giggles. The type students get, but not teachers. The class started to belly laugh with me, while our Phone Supervisor maintained control and answered, “Hello, 3E, may I ask who’s calling, please?” As our supervisor listened, the students and I were still giggling. When the phone was extended in my direction, and the student said, “They want you,” I was still laughing, tears filling my eyes. Our phone supervisor did the only thing that could be done…”Would you please hold for a minute?” he asked.
HILARIOUS! The teacher has uncontrollable giggles, and the ball-of-energy child remains composed and uses the best-of-manners to ask for a moment so the teacher can compose herself. The nurse, who was on the other end of the line, did not even recognize me when I answered, amusement still filling my voice.
Later, the news of the day was posted on the board by a student who has adopted the self-appointed role of reporting events in our daily lives. Beneath a drawing of broken eyeglasses, the message read: “________’s glasses when talking on the phone!!! LOL!”
Laughter truly is good for us. Glad to have had the giggles, kid-style!
Here is a picture of the message (name obscured):
When’s the last time you giggled?