Words are Gifts

Chatting During Lunch

I often have lunch by myself, beside the third grade students. During lunchtime yesterday, I was sitting staring into space, with lots of voices behind me, when a young third grader came to sit on the bench perpendicular to mine. She seemed worried with her palm cupped around her chin, I knew there was something wrong.

I waited a little while and decided to invite her to join me. I did not even finish the sentence when she hopped onto the bench opposite mine.

“Hi, why are you sitting by yourself?” I asked.

“My best friend S said she is not my friend anymore,” she explained, pursing her lips, slightly.

I looked sympathetic, wanting to console her and ask what happened, but she stepped in and said,

“It’s okay, I can deal with it,” with matching gestures.

I found it so funny but had to put on a caring face. She seemed like a little adult, still with the forlorn face, I decided to change the topic. I asked if she had any siblings, that got us talking for a while. She had perked up and chatted a lot about her sister, describing her perfectly whilst expecting me to know exactly what she looked like. The interesting part was when she described what her sister was wearing,

“…and she has turquoise sneakers on.”

I thought that was interesting, and felt sad telling her I did not know who her sister is. Insisting I should know her she continued,

“and she wears her hair like this.”

Unravelling the pom-pom like bun that had been planted on her head and brushing her hair down with her palm, then holding on till she was able to tie it into a bun that resembles her sister’s. It was not over till she scraped the front part of her hair flat, part of it covering her forehead and said,

“Now I look exactly like her.”

“Can you remember her?”

I felt really sorry I had to say no, so I said,

“Maybe one day we can go and find her, together.”

Soon after that clear description, S run and shouted to my new friend,

“Should we go and play now?’

Just as my friend had jumped onto the bench when I invited her to sit with me earlier, she hopped off shouting,


I could see the joy in their movement as they both held onto their sandwich boxes leaping forward to put them down in order to savor the rest of the playtime before going back to class. A renewed friendship had just been born.









9 responses to “Chatting During Lunch”

  1. This is dynamite. You capture the mood perfectly. “Unravelling the pom-pom like bun that had been planted on her head and brushing her hair down with her palm, then holding on till she was able to tie it into a bun that resembles her sister’s.”

    Brilliant description, I can see exactly what happened here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is amazing how friendships end and begin again in a matter of minutes at that age. She needed someone to talk to and distract her for a bit and you were there to help. Love the detailed description.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great description that had me sitting beside you, feeling the emotions of the moment. Thank yo for reminding me that as teachers we have many small opportunities to lift a student if we are willing to give a bit of ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! I could picture this whole scene!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You captured this small moment perfectly. I liked how you gave us your inner thoughts while interacting with the student.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is the sweetest slice. While you don’t know her sister and we (the readers) don’t either, we sure can imagine her based on your little friend’s description and your writing as well. I’m glad they made up and had time to play before lunch is over. She was definitely refreshed after chatting with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful gift- to give your full attention at the moment it was needed. Glad you “caught” it in your writing this month.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved the play by play description of her transforming herself into her sister by redoing her hair. Like Fran said, you really gave your full attention to this student during this moment. I’m sure she sensed this. This is how you’ve developed such a close classroom community. Your students know you care and know you want to find out more about them. I wonder who her sister is…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. […] year I wrote a slice about Sh, Chatting During Lunch we had an encounter then.  Since that day, we have bonded and would chat during recess, sometimes. […]

    Liked by 1 person

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About Me

I am am Elementary school teacher at an International IB School in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. I write with groups of writers, such as Teach Write.


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