Thanksgiving is here! Thanksgiving is here! Is it bad that, in my mind, the word Thanksgiving rhymes with the word pie? Yesterday my mother and I baked fifteen pies. Fifteen. Today, I plan to eat most of them.

One more pie was still in the oven!

This morning, I woke up thinking about turkey. OK, you probably did too, but these are the two ways I was thinking about turkey today:

1. I had a dream that my mother told my boyfriend he had to eat a plateful of spaghetti before Thanksgiving dinner was served so he wouldn’t eat so much turkey. Because on my brother’s birthday, my boyfriend at all the guacamole & tostadas. (This second part actually happened.)

2. A memory of a Tense Turkey day in my classroom floated to the top of my brain. This is the memory.

Several years ago, my formal observation fell on the week before Thanksgiving. My kids and I were writing pieces about turkeys – “The Adventures of the Turkey,” and my kids were definitely in turkey mode. I had a little girl, Sally (name changed), who had some special needs and didn’t understand lots of social norms. She had spent all day acting as a turkey, gobbling and chomping her beak. She was in character.

My assistant principal came in (loudly) and proceeded to watch the lesson (with only minimal interfering). Having been formally evaluated, I am sure you know the range of emotions racing through my teacher brain – oh my God what is Jamie doing – that answer didn’t even make sense – what do you mean you don’t remember – sit down – sit down – sit down – no you can’t have any water right now -you’re making me look bad – look smarter – sound smarter – be smarter!

After an uneventful forty-five minutes (during which time, my AP was undoubtedly was able to uncover every aspect of my teaching) she rose and walked towards the back of the classroom. I began to breathe again and started to think maybe everything was going to be ok. Then…

As she passed Sally, Sally turned, and almost in slow motion, I saw her reach out and grab her leg firmly (grabbed the leg of my assistant principal – the leg which was clad in a pastel green polyester suit) and cheerfully shouted, “Turkey Leg! Chomp! Chomp!”

The class froze. I froze. My AP froze. Sally stared at her happily.

“More like a chicken leg with these skinny legs!” my AP shouted back. Everyone laughed uncomfortably until my AP left the room. Sally continued to chomp happily, unaware that she had just caused me to wet my pants. Lord. Children make me crazy.

That’s the only observation I’ve ever had that went a little weird. Anyone else have any observation stories?

Also, Thanksgiving bonus! Here’s a little number line game with an ornament theme to use in your classroom.

Grab it here.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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