Friday, October 23, 2009

Aces Breakfast


Three years ago me and another teacher, Naomi, decided to start doing what we call an "Aces Breakfast," where we make breakfast (eggs, pancakes, sausage, and juice) for all of our students who received an "A" on their report card for language arts. We have our Aces Breakfast three times a year: at the beginning of quarter two, quarter three, and quarter four. Last year, another seventh grade language arts teacher, Denise, loved our idea so much that she wanted to get in on it. So now there are three of us teachers sponsoring this event, and after so many times of trial and error, we have the whole thing down to a science. We can quickly and efficiently serve breakfast to about seventy students within a twenty minute window, all while being silly and having a good time.

So how on earth did today's breakfast wind up being such a disaster? First of all, parts of the eggs were burnt to a near crisp. Clint scrambled five dozen eggs last night, but what he created was far from burnt...in fact, it was quite the opposite. He added milk in them to make them fluffy and moist, and also added cheese to enhance the flavor. But our crockpot (one that I have never used before, I should add), which was on "low" last night to keep the eggs warm, decided it would be more fun to scorch the eggs instead. I didn't have time to replace five dozen eggs, so I just mixed them up as best as I could and hoped students wouldn't notice the burnt egg pieces within their breakfast, or the fact that their eggs were a strange hue of brown instead of yellow, or the fact that they smelled a little like burnt rubber.

Despite the charcoal brioche eggs, everything else this morning seemed to be running very smoothly and perfectly on schedule. Denise arrived nice and early to my classroom, got the griddles fired up, and started making pancakes. Meanwhile I set out all of our paper-ware, butter, syrup, and apple juice. Naomi began heating up the sausages, and things were looking great. Then suddenly we had an electrical short and I lost power to my room. Students were lining up at the gate, getting ready to come into the school, and here we were, three teachers in aprons, scrambling around my room, trying to figure out a way to magically know something about electricity so we can fix the problem and resume our cooking. Luckily another teacher walked passed and saw us panicking, and was able to locate my electrical panel and help us resolve the problem. But unfortunately, by the time everything was said and done, we had a gazillion students in my room waiting for food and nothing to give them (but some gourmet eggs).

By the time the bell rang for first period to start, several students were lucky to have eaten even one pancake, unlike the three or four they normally digest when we hold this function. I was shoving plates in students' hands as they ran out the door, telling them "Have your teacher call me if they have a problem with you eating in class!" Four girls stayed with me to help clean up the mess, and I still had pancakes going on the grill, so I had them randomly deliver breakfast to nearby teachers. They didn't know who they should give breakfast to, so I just told them "pick anybody." Later, I had teachers approaching me saying "Thank you for breakfast this morning!" and I just felt so amused, because of course I had no idea that I had "given" them breakfast. How nice of me--I rock. =)

Throughout the course of the day, I tried to explain to my students that the Aces Breakfast isn't usually such a disaster, and my kids seemed confused by this. They thought the whole thing was great, and one student, Thomas, declared "those were the best eggs and sausage I have ever had!" Apparently Tommy likes the taste of burnt cheese. To each his own, I suppose.