N and M are two of my grade 5 students, and they stick together like glue.
Typically, when the after school bell rings at 3:45, I move down to the staff room where I can enjoy the company of my colleagues sans students and prepare activities for the days to come on one of the computers. However, this week I have been busy marking and writing report cards in my classroom – tasks that require both concentration and space (neither of which I can really maintain in the staff room).
Yesterday, while the rest of my students took off for either the arena or their after school activity of choice as soon as the bell rang, N and M asked if they could stay and play with LEGO. While they played in the corner, they whispered suspiciously in Inuktitut – I say suspiciously, because even though my comprehension of the Inuktitut language is, for all intents and purposes, nonexistent, I could hear, scattered throughout a string of Inuktitut words and uncontrollable giggles, a number of “Juti”s that caught my attention. I knew they were up to something.
They played for about 10 minutes. Then, they stood up and said in a very rehearsed kind of way, “I’m going home now” as they tip-toed in an obvious manner out the door.
I listened. I heard no rustle of parka sleeves being put on, no zip of parka zippers being done up, and no footsteps of children who normally run down the stairs like there’s no tomorrow. I also heard the stifled giggles of a shenanigan in the making and, out of the corner of my own eye, caught glimpses of little Inuk eyes peeking cautiously through the window beside the classroom door. It was N, checking to see if the coast was clear. I turned around, and the second our eyes met, he withdrew with a giggle.
I could sense him peeking, waiting for the perfect moment to jump out and try to startle me. I decided to wait and feign ignorance. A few minutes later, I caught slow, calculated movement in my peripheral vision and the faint swishing of pants on floor as two little people crawled sneakily behind me. Mere seconds before they pounced, I yelled “BOO” and watched the two of them fly into the air like frightened cats, and run out of the room laughing hysterically. It was hilariously awesome.