Consequently, I tried to keep a really low profile during lunch duty. It wasn't until second semester that I began to relax at school. Gradually, the students and I got to where we would either greet or grunt at each other in the lunch room.
I'm not so much of a sandwich, chips, and Ding-Dongs in my "cold" lunch. For a while, I'd slice baby gherkins and cheddar cheese, then wrap them in a ham slice, and fasten with a toothpick into a roll up.
One day during lunch duty, one of my students walked by where I was sitting with my roll-up. With lip curled, she growled something about white teachers and "rich folks food."
I must have mumbled something sarcastic back to her because she slowly turned around, looked at me and sat down. "You don't see anybody else eating rich folks food like that," she hissed between gritted teeth.
"This rich folks food was all bought at Aldi. Where do you buy your groceries?" I threw back at her.
The look on her face was great! Priceless! She did a 180 in a heartbeat.
Then, just to rub it in a little deeper, I offered her one of my roll ups. And the two of us had a terrific lunch together!
Once again, a student taught the teacher. I had already learned that food could be a good incentive and teaching tool. That day, I learned that sharing a meal in the lunch room could be one of the best classrooms to learn from my students.
John Michael Montgomery sang "Life's a Dance" a few years ago. Lunch felt like a dance that day, Dear Reader. I learned that sometimes I had to stand my ground before I could let my guard down. It was all in the timing.
Is there somebody you feel like you have to dance around? Sometimes it's hard to learn just the right steps, isn't it? Maybe we have to ask ourselves, not if the other person is worth our effort, but if we are worth their's.