Quotes From a Third Grade Class: personal space


Harley Classe

In this weekly column, senior Harley Classe talks about her experiences as a third grade teacher.

Harley Classe, Editor-In-Chief

“Don’t worry, I’m okay.”

This is a relieving statement, wouldn’t you think? My answer to you would be kind of. However, in a third grade classroom, this statement becomes one that you hear on repeat.

In this particular instance, we were taking a spelling test and I was doing my usual laps around the room while I was reading off the list of words that the students had to spell.

I began to cross by the back of the room and noticed out of the corner of my eye that a student was reaching out to maybe attempt to hug me.

Thinking about this now, it sounds kind of awful, but I purposefully did not make eye contact with her so she would think I didn’t see her attempt at a hug. I successfully managed to avoid her attempt respectfully.

I have this weird thing about excessive personal space: I need it. Huggers, people who only have conversations right next to your face, being up close and personal, you name it, it isn’t my favorite. This is weird for me considering I come from a family of huggers.

However, this child was persistent. After a few more laps around the room, I had forgotten she had attempted to hug me, and when I walked back around by her chair, she reached out, full force, for a hug.

Not realizing what was happening, I kept walking without altering my pace, and well… the student missed and fell straight out of her chair onto the floor. Keep in mind the room was dead quiet as the students were in the middle of a test.

I don’t know who was more embarrassed, me or her. By now, I’m used to all of the hugging in third grade. However, it can be a difficult adjustment for those of us who prefer personal space. That’s just how it is.