First 30 Minutes of My Day

Way before the bell my first two students arrive. One is pushed in, yawning in his wheelchair, by a wide-eyed, over-anxious, but responsible classmate.

“You’d better get to breakfast!” I gently goad.
“I gotta get my journal out for ya.” He finishes unpacking, rezips his backpack, and reminds me again that he is leaving it on his desk until later. “Don’t let anybody touch it!”
“Okay!” I giggle, “Have a good breakfast!”
“See ya.”

I help unbuckle my nonverbal friend. “Good morning. Let’s get the cartoons on.” I turn on the TV for 30 minutes of morning PBS and watch him get out of his chair. I immediately lock it in the shower room so it is out of sight and mind.

The door opens, my heart leaps, hoping it isn’t the student making a run for it, but it’s my second student arrival of the morning.

“Hello beautiful, guess what I have in my pocket.”
“Is it.. a frog?”
“No, heh, it’s money.”
“Money?! Are you rich?”
“Let me see.”
He pulls out 4 quarters. “Is this for lunch?”

The day has begun.

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