I taught for 30 years. I I’d like to say that I was a great teacher, but I wasn’t.
But one thing I was good at was working with losers, weirdos, and misfits. I had a real passion for them, and I was very protective of them.
For these kids, every day was tough. The cool kids would pick on them, tease them, and make them miserable.
And the lunchroom was the worst. There was no place to hide. They would get badgered and beaten up. And the adult supervisors, instead of protecting them, would ignore them or just tell them to sit down.
So, one day I’m eating lunch in my room with my teammate,Jodi. Two students are standing in the door way, apparently afraid to knock. Nervously, they ask if they can eat lunch in our room. Both Jodi and I immediately agree that that would be fine.
After a few days, they ask if a couple of other kids could come in for lunch. Fine. Then a few more show up. After a few weeks, the room is packed with misfits. Not a cool kid in the bunch.
I, of course, have to torture them. I inform them that Wednesdays will be reserved for cool kids only. They all look at each other, pause, and let out a giggle. They don’t buy it.
These tortured kids found 45 minutes of peace every day. You could see a look of collective relief across the room as they sat there eating lunch and conversing quietly.
I left education due to personal health reasons. Jodi is still there, and she is such a super teacher. I don’t know if she still hosts the misfit lunch room.
Hope that she does.