Our school is not air conditioned. Thankfully I'm on the garden level, so even when the morning sun shines in, it doesn't take over my room. Plus, there are some pretty large trees just outside my window which help to shade the area.
Regardless of all these things, the air gets pretty stagnant when you cram 25 sweaty third-graders in the room, combined with the heat from our computers or the florescent lights. I have two fans in my room to help blow the air around. The kids have gravitated to these fans like flies on fly paper. They like to stand two inches away from them, having their hair blown back, while they squint their eyes like a dog out of a car window. During silent reading time, they pull their chairs around the fan as if it's some kind of prayer ritual. They also like to talk into the fan to make their voices sound like a bad Darth Vader imitation. I have set rules about these fans, but apparently they're following the rule that "rules are meant to be broken". I can turn around for one second, and they're back at the fan.
Today it was my turn. In the morning, as I made my way into the classroom after greeting everyone when they came in, I stopped by the fan. I made all of my morning announcements by the fan. I stood by the fan as I told the usual kids to get back to their desks and stop talking to their friend across the room.
At one point during my fan time, one of my philosophers came over to get some fan air and also to chat me up. We talked about the previous night's homework and how he "knew the answer right away, but his mom made him figure it out!". We talked about the book he is reading, and how it caused him to be late for the bus. (This isn't the first time that reading or being read to has caused him to be late. I think I'll forgive him.) We talked about the ice cream social the night before and all of the junk he consumed and won.
As he stood there talking, I tried to take it all in. This class has been wonderful. Sure, the kids or I have our moments, but all in all, it's been a great ride. Now with just three weeks left, I'm starting to see the end is near. In my past teaching gigs, I couldn't wait until the year ended, and I wasn't too concerned whether I would see the kids again. But this gig has been different. The class is such a great mix of personalities with great attitudes. They care about each other, they (for the most part) respect each other and me, and they care about being in school.
I'm going to miss the one on one time that I've spent with each one of them. Even if it's just to get closer to the fan breeze.