Their teacher asked me to come in today to help the students gain some focus to share their work. We talked a little bit about what they’ve learned already, one sandy haired boy put up his hand and said “Uh.. I read that different smells can cause different dreams”.
He started to perk up a little bit, “Yeah! Like if you smell rotten eggs before you go to sleep you might have a nightmare”
This caused an uproar in the class, with all the students imagining what dreams different types of smells would produce.
“All right, all right, we don’t even know if this is true!” I shouted over the cacophony.
“Why don’t we all do it?” the sandy haired boy said.
Everyone stopped talking at once, and their eyes all latched onto mine expectantly. I looked around the room and smiled. “Okay, why don’t you all find the most horrible or most wonderful smell you can find and take a big whiff before you go to sleep. Then write down your dreams as soon as you wake up. Bring them in and we’ll compare dreams tomorrow.”
The excitement in the room was palpable. It was one of those moments that makes what we do really mean something.
Jeff Thompson is the Learning Commons and CTF Learning leader at Samuel W. Shaw middle school. He is an avid internet addict and dabbler in gadgetry.