"Come and play with us, Ms. Rodriguez!”
At first, I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand why a small flock of students surrounded me after stepping onto the playground. All I wanted was a little sun and fresh air, while I kept watch of the play outside. All they wanted was for me to join them for a game of hide-and-seek.
“Umm… I don’t… I don’t want to.” I admitted with a smile.
They continued. They hounded. They followed and surrounded me. They were relentless.
“Come on! Come on! Come on… pleeeease.”
Their playful pleading crossed in and out of firm demands, at times insisting. It was a strange focused approach by the group of maybe eight or nine kids. And they weren’t giving up.
“Play hide-and-seek with us!”
Why on earth? I thought to myself. Why on earth would they decide to suddenly ask me to play.
“Play… I don’t… why?” I questioned, finally. “You said you missed it!” demanded one petite, but firm voice. “I… what? Missed it?” My mind wandered for a brief confused moment, before it finally came to me. I did miss it, and they knew it because I shared it with them earlier that day.
In the quiet of a room filled with moving pens and pencils, I wrote in my notebook. I sat just a few minutes to write underneath the document camera for all to see. Burying myself inside one small moment, I wrote about missing the game of hide-and-seek.
My students did more than notice the act of a teacher writing, they noticed the meaning behind the writing, hung on to it, and made the decision to do something about it. They decided to gift me a game of hide-and-seek. It was a game I played often with my two sons when they were young. I missed the game with them, and my sweet students wanted to help make a small impact, because they could. And they did. They made me smile and laugh out loud.
I played, finally. We played a game of hide-and-seek. It took them a while, but they finally found me. Today, my students found a small part of me buried in my notebook.