It’s so quiet.

When there’s an “away” game for any of the high school sports, it usually cuts into my 7th period art class. Sometimes into my 6th period art too; today is one of those days. All varsity and junior varisty baseball and softball players left campus after lunch. That’s four teams in a school of about 250 students. Eleven students are missing across my two classes.

I’ve noticed a correlation between sports participation and talkativeness. It’s dead silent in here during 6th period save the scritching of pencils, some small whispering, and the tapping of my keyboard. It’s kind of unnerving. You get used to commotion after a while. I feel like a dictator up here in front of the silent masses.

This kind of thing really causes havoc if we’re in the middle of an art project. This is especially true of a group project like the posters we are doing. In 6th period, there are five groups and four of them are missing one or members today. I do have sports players make up the missed day at home, but how to you grade a group effort on a rubric if many students were away for sports? The rest of their group either does their work for them or falls behind. It’s difficult to resolve this as a teacher and be fair to everyone involved.

I suppose I could find one-day assignments for students who are still in class on game days. Maybe I’d do it if we reached some sort of critical mass of missing students, such as over 25% like today. Then everyone could pick up the project again when the jocks return. But then we’d lack continuity for everyone.

Decisions, decisions.

By Dawn Pedersen

Science advocate, web designer, educator, artist, and mommy.

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