Every day, I stand outside my classroom door, greeting all of my students as they enter.
It’s something I try to do every day for every class. This gives me a chance to smile at my kids, say something personal, and remind them about the bellwork that’s waiting for them.
On Tuesday, one of my students walked in, set his stuff down, and then left again. The kids frequently do this so they can run out for one last drink of water before the bell rings.
This same student came back a minute later and paused as he started to pass me.
(This is the same student whose sweatpants I fixed last week. You can click here to read about that.)
Before he walked past me on Tuesday, he stopped and leaned in like he was going to give me a hug.
He put one hand on my shoulder and then did an amazing thing…
He gave me what can only be described as a “bro hug.”
It’s hard to explain, but you’d know a bro hug if you saw it.
It’s where two guys greet each other and either grab a hand to shake it or grab a shoulder.
Then, they both lean in and briefly hug, roughly clap each other on the back with the free hand, and then separate as if they hadn’t shown any affection.
It’s a guy thing, and way different than a “chick hug.”
I was very surprised because the action was completely unexpected.
The school’s baseball coach, a dynamic young man who is totally cool in my book, happened to be walking down the hallway right after my student gave me the bro hug. I was still so surprised, that I crooked my finger for Mr. Baseball Coach to come closer so I could talk to him.
When he reached me, I told him, “I think I just got my first bro hug. Is this a good thing?”
“Yes,” he said. “It’s a very good thing.”
All the while, he continued walking, chucking as he went. I think I saw a twinkle in his eye as well.
That’s probably not the coolest way to describe a high school baseball coach, but he’s a very kind man and very sensitive to the kids we teach.
Our children ARE very special…not prone to showing affection often because many lead such horrid lives outside of school.
Hence, my student’s gesture meant a great deal.
Although this is my third year teaching, it’s definitely been a year of firsts.
I can now add receiving a bro hug to that list.