An Earth-Shaking Revelation

, , , , , | Learning | June 22, 2018

I work in an international preschool in Japan, teaching three-year-olds. As a combination of their age and English being their second — or third — language, their understanding of things can be rather skewed, and funny as a result.

We have an earthquake drill one day, the first one that my class has ever done. I talk about it beforehand to make sure they have a general idea of what to do. I explain earthquakes in a very basic, kid-friendly way, emphasizing the shaking and “things breaking and falling” aspect, and areas of the room to stay away from, for safety. I remind them that it is all pretend, but important to remember in case of a real earthquake in the future.

The drill begins after lunch, and we make our way outside once the alarm stops ringing. They all find it very funny to wear the safety cushions to protect their heads, but there is minimal messing around. We make sure everyone is accounted for, and head back inside. One of my kids starts pointing around and speaking Japanese in astonishment, saying, “The building didn’t fall down! Nothing is broken?” I think maybe she expected the earthquake to happen inside the school, while we were outside?

Artfully Suspended

, , , , , | Learning | June 22, 2018

When I was a senior in high school, the two industrial manufacturing teachers were unexpectedly absent. This was not expected to be a particular problem, as the course work for those classes was constructing a year-long project; the previous three years had been focused on technique and safety, so the primary role of the teachers was consulting on design issues or troubleshooting, which were problems that can wait a day if needed. Nonetheless, district regulations required a teacher to be physically present, so a substitute was brought in. I didn’t even notice this at the start of class, because I went straight to work.

An hour into the three-hour class, I noticed that I didn’t hear anything else going on — no machines running, no conversations, not even any hammering. I found out that the sub had gathered up all the students he saw and had them working on a special project in the CAD room. He was also the owner of a local nightclub, and had them designing art for it using the school facilities.

This turned out to be his very last day as a substitute teacher, for some inexplicable reason.

A Caveman Could Come Up With A Better Image

, , , , | Learning | June 21, 2018

(This happens in 2009. My school has invited speakers to talk about our options after school. You can either go to university, or do an “Ausbildung,” an education for a specific profession. The speakers start their presentation by talking about universities, how to apply, how to get financing, etc. The slide is illustrated with a cartoon image of a doctor. They then get to the part about getting an “Ausbildung.” The slide is again illustrated with a cartoon figure; this time, it’s a man wearing fur and holding a large club.)

Student: “Excuse me… Why is there an image of a Neanderthal on the slide?”

Speaker: *slightly flustered* “Well, we couldn’t find a different image, and we thought this might be funny.”

(And this is how you add to the stigma of non-academic professions. I still don’t get how anyone could think this was appropriate.)

Donut Give Me More Donuts

, , , , , , , | Learning | June 21, 2018

(I started teaching at this school halfway into the year. I’m a relatively new teacher, so I’m still a bit timid in the staff room. I am also often self-conscious about my eating habits. I go out one day in June, a few weeks before the end of the school year, to grab a coffee at lunch. I come back with a donut. It’s a pretty extravagant-looking thing and catches the other teachers’ attention.)

Teachers: *commenting on the delicious donut*

Me: “I know, I know. It’s really unnecessary; I shouldn’t have bought it. But I’m having salad for dinner tonight, so I guess I can kind of justify it.” *apologetic smile*

(Immediately, three teachers whip their heads up to look at me.)

Teacher #1: “IT’S JUNE.”

Teacher #2: “That’s all the justification you need.”

Teacher #3: “In fact, that’s not enough. Have this, too.” *breaks off half of her cookie and slides it over to me*

Please Don’t Offer Any Oral Exams

, , , , | Learning | June 20, 2018

(I’m around 13 years old and taking a politics class in school. We read a text about Bill Clinton’s impeachment and discuss it afterwards. The text, of course, mentions Monica Lewinsky.)

Teacher: “Well, that just goes to show that the Americans are a little prudish, doesn’t it? I mean, they just kissed!” *confused looks from the class* “It says in the text, they had oral sex, so they just kissed!”

(To this day, I’m not sure whether she said that because she thought we were too young to hear about oral sex, or whether she actually thought that oral sex means kissing; she did tend to be a little naive at times.)

Page 1/1,14412345...Last
Next »