Every morning I meet two of my students at the bus and bring them back to my classroom. Waiting in the gym is too noisy and overwhelming for them, so we go straight to our room and get started on our day. As we walk down the hall (it's a long walk) I find myself chatting with them, although it tends to be a one-way conversation.
"Good morning! I missed you this weekend! Did you have fun?" Pause for an answer. One of them may repeat the question, but both will keep walking.
"Did you do anything exciting this weekend?" Again, one may repeat the question, but I don't really expect an answer. When we're in the classroom and I've got visuals and it's quiet I'll ask the same question in a more appropriate way for my kids to answer. This is just... chatter. Because that's what kids and teachers do- they talk to each other in the hallway.
Every morning we walk past the same kindergarten students. One little boy smiles at me every morning as I'm walking with my friends. Today, after weeks and weeks of watching me ask questions and get no response he blurts out,
"I had a GREAT weekend! It was SO exciting!" he gives me a winning smile that seems to say, "It's OK teacher, I don't know who you are, but I'm listening to you even if your own students aren't."
I can't help but feel that he was feeling sorry for me- surely wondering why my own students don't talk to me. I must admit, I appreciated the kindergarten sympathy, even if I didn't need it. It's nice to know someone is listening.