Sweeping Away Any Teachable Moments Here

, , , , , | Learning | April 24, 2018

(I am around eight, and my cousin is about twelve. We go to a school that has adult supervision long before and after school in case parents need a babysitter; this is provided for free. We’re waiting on the playground after school. Out of boredom, we’ve been repeatedly leaning against the fence behind us and bouncing off it.)

Teacher: “Girls, that’s bad for the fence. Do you need me to find something for you to do?”

Cousin: “No.” *goes off and finds an activity*

Me: *thinking she means something fun* “Yes!”

Teacher: *disappointed* “Grab this broom and sweep bark chips off the pavement.”

(I’m dismayed that she’s giving me a punishment for boredom. Bark-chip duty is usually reserved for students who repeatedly cause trouble on the playground. After a minute or two…)

Teacher: “You don’t have to do that anymore, but I hope you learned your lesson to not talk back.”

(I legitimately did not understand what I’d done. I had zero grasp on sarcasm at the time, and even now I have a hard time with it. Plus, the concept of “talking back” made no sense to me. The punishment would have been a fair one if I had known what on earth I’d done wrong.)

Español Is Finito!

, , , , , | Learning | April 24, 2018

(I’m a high school Spanish teacher.)

Student: “Finito!”

Me:’Finito’ es italiano; no es español.”

Student: “Oy, vey!”

Me: “That’s Yiddish.”

Student: “¡Ay, dios mío! Are you happy now?”

Look Who’s Talking

, , , , , | Learning | April 23, 2018

(I’m a middle school teacher. For our novel study at the end of the year, I have students do vocabulary periodically throughout the book. I tell students that today we’ll be doing vocabulary.)

Student: “Vocabulary is for nerds.”

Me: “Without vocabulary, you wouldn’t talk, so I guess you’re a nerd.”

Sex Education

, , , , , | Learning | April 23, 2018

(I am a creative writing major, but because I changed my major from an English one fairly recently, I am still stuck in a seminar class for English majors and have to report my readings to that professor. The education majors are also in this particular seminar class. I have just finished reporting on research I am doing for a vampire novel I plan to write. My professor is a woman who loves dirty romance novels, as well.)

Professor: “Will there be sex in it?”

Me: “I don’t know. I’ll let the characters take me where they want to.”

Professor: *fake huffs* “You creative writing majors and your developing characters!” *turns to the next student to present; an education major* “Will there be sex in yours?”

Student: “Oh, God, I hope not!”

Thieves Are On The Periphery Of Society

, , , , , | Learning | April 22, 2018

(This story takes place in the late nineties. I have a fairly sizeable collection of novelty pencils: patterns, holographic, Lisa Frank, etc. During one class, I have three out at once for some reason, and as I’m focused on writing something, I see a classmate’s hand inching towards one of them out of the corner of my eye.)

Me: “Don’t touch my pencils.”

Classmate: *shocked* “How did you know?!”

Me: “Peripheral vision?”

Classmate: “What?”

(For the rest of the class, he kept putting his hands where he thought I wouldn’t see, and was amazed every time I did.)

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