Tied up in knots

7 May

“Ms. Gillespie, I tied my shoes together.”

So said the 6th grade boy standing before me. He should have been on his way back to his seat from the meeting area, where I had just taught a fabulous lesson, but he couldn’t walk. I knelt to take a closer look. He hadn’t tied shoe laces together – he had braided bungee laces around the clips. Maybe my lesson hadn’t been that fabulous after all.

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“You’d better take a seat and take off your shoes,’ I said as I stood up. “I’ll see what I can do while you work,” I replied.

I poked a bit with a pencil before channeling my inner MacGyver. I took a paperclip from a dispenser, unbent one end, and began loosening the laces. While they should have been working, a few students came up to offer assistance.

“I have long fingernails.”

“I’m a Boy Scout.”

“My little sister does this ALL the time!”

I declined all offers of assistance. My strategy was proving successful. I loosened one strand enough to loop it over the clip, loosening even more. My MacGyvering was working and before too long, I laid two, separated shoes on the student’s desk. He felt a little foolish, but I felt fabulous.

 

 

7 Responses to “Tied up in knots”

  1. Ramona May 7, 2019 at 6:13 am #

    Nothing like a challenge that can be solved – definitely a super teacher moment!

  2. danrfitch May 7, 2019 at 7:07 am #

    I like the reflection about your lesson- I have felt that before also. And of course, excellent MacGyver-ing. Working in special education as I do, there are many MacGyver moments. I identify with feeling fabulous after solving a problem!

  3. Lisa Keeler May 7, 2019 at 7:20 am #

    Your slice made me giggle so much. I love your voice in this piece.

  4. arjeha May 7, 2019 at 2:24 pm #

    Ah…the things they don’t teach in college that teachers need to know.😊

  5. JudyK /J Koval May 7, 2019 at 6:10 pm #

    🙂 🙂 🙂 Life as a teacher is never boring, isn’t it? What an enjoyable little story. 🙂 ~JudyK

  6. Lisa Corbett May 7, 2019 at 6:29 pm #

    What goes through their minds? LOL I often wonder what everyone is thinking when I think they are working. Glad you finally Macgyver’d your way out of the knots

  7. Brian Rozinsky May 7, 2019 at 7:21 pm #

    And just when you think sixth graders *haven’t* matured, they just might surprise you the other way 🙂

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Randy Ribay

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