While going over the days of the week and dates in the 7th grade class on February 29th, we got on the topic of leap year. I then asked if they knew anyone who had a birthday on this day. They all said no, but my co-teacher interjected saying their former school director is only 20 (due to being born on February 29th). The student’s were shocked at this revelation and sad that their former director had only had 20 birthdays in her life. We then discussed March 1st. March 1st in Georgia is not only considered the first day of spring (the first day of spring being very grey and snowy), but it is also another April 1st.
My evident confusion when they said they played jokes on people tomorrow prompted the explanation of March 1st. This day is essentially an early April Fools. The examples that were given included pointing out non- existant dirty spots on clothing or bags and other very nondescript trivialities. The most amusing part of March 1st is what one is called if you fall for one of these little tricks. You are called a Martis Barti (a March Goose).
After this discussion , one would assume that I would not fall for any of these tricks the next day. Unfortunately, I am very gullible and in the very first class a student pointed to a spot on my bag and said it was dirty. As I looked at the spot, my teacher started to warn my not too and upon seeing nothing there I smiled and said a “martis barti”. The students all chuckled that I knew this tradition and the lesson went on in its usual chaos (they are the 10th graders).
By my last lesson of the day I had decided to play a prank on my 7th graders. I went to a nearby store and bought some blank sheets of white paper. This type of paper is what tests are sometimes taken on. I then went into there class with these papers held in my hand. They immediately started to ask if there was a test. I nodded, my co-teacher caught on and also nodded. I began to pass out the blank pages and students became very confused. I could not help laughing. Students still did not understand, so my co-teacher explained it was a trick on them. Then they all laughed and sighed a sigh of relief.
I am trying to decide if I should also pull an April Fools trick on them when April rolls around. It will depend on if I have any good ideas and how well they behave.