Years ago, when I was a teacher, my class was divided into reading groups. When I met with the lowest reading group we read a version of Jack and Jill. I followed up with comprehension questions. I asked why Jill followed Jack and tumbled down the hill. The girl laying on the table letting drool escape from her mouth didn’t even notice I asked a question. Billy was too busy picking a tasty snack out of his nose to answer. I felt relieved when Cody’s hand shot up in the air. Cody teetered on the edge of his seat in anticipation.
He matched his enthusiasm with, “Ooh, ooh, I know it Mrs. Grayson!” I barely pointed in his direction and his answer fell from his mouth like vomit, “Spaghetti!” He matched his confusion with wild eyes and a wide smile.
I winced and massaged my temples.
Despite what seemed like fruitless efforts, one of the girls in that reading group, Regina, eventually jumped two reading levels. It was time for her to join the medium reading group. The next time I called the low reading group I didn’t call Regina’s name, and she started sobbing.
I actually had to take a hold of her shoulders and privately tell her that she was too smart for her old group. My efforts didn’t stop the water works. What an extreme case of Short Bus Panic!
I thought about my own Short Bus Panic when I walked over the Kutz Bridge today. I am nervous and scared. I have decided to quit my job and start all over again. I am in full panic mode. Can this really work? In some ways, it would be so much easier to stay on the short bus.