Yesterday morning I subbed for Middle School music classes. Both were choruses fresh off a concert from the night before. We watched it and they evaluated their performance on a rubric provided by their teacher.

I’m struck by the evolving nature of educational practices. The day before I was a 3rdgrade classroom teacher. I witness leaps and bounds in mathematics compared to when I was a 3rdgrader. The names of children who had other educators they left the classroom to work with were given to me in initials rather than spelled out. Confused at first, I had to ask the teacher next door for explanation.

I heard a middle school counselor say to a gal who had just gotten her braces off, “I hope you smile big all day today.” For the life of me, I can’t recall any school counselor sounding that invested in my inner life.

Of course, these new PC ways have their drawbacks as well. As a marker came careening by me on the floor from the area the chorus boys were sitting and I eyed the boy telling me his friend happened to be tossing the marker in the air as himself was reaching his hand in to retrieve something and his hand happened to whack the marker out as he was pulling it back, I was moved by his logic and responded, “Hmmm…remarkable. Just make sure all your future choices are ones that keep each and everyone of us safe in here.” To which a friend behind him said, with a facetious look in his eye, “Ah, Ms. Maffei.” “Yes?” “I don’t feel safe.”

My PC response? No response.