Respect Is The Name Of The Game

| San Rafael, CA, USA | Learning | April 24, 2013

(I work with a group of ten second grade girls in a literacy class called GirlSMART. All of them are English learners, but most of them don’t have a hard time speaking the language. One girl, however, will lapse back into Spanish just because she feels like it.)

Student: “¡Oy! ¡Necesito ayuda, maestra!”

Me: *patiently* “Now, [student], I know calling me ‘maestra’ can be considered polite, but you know that I like to be called Miss [name]. Okay?”

Student: “Okay, maestra.”

(She proceeds to crack jokes in Spanish, not thinking I can understand her. I decide to prod at her.)

Me: “¡Oy! ¡Estudiante! ¿Todavía necesitas ayuda?”

Student: *in English* “Did you just call me ‘student?'”

Me: “Yes. Because if you’re not going to call me by my actual name, I’m not going to call you by yours.”

(She’s been calling me ‘Miss [name]’ and speaking in English ever since.)

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It Pays To Be Nice

| CA, USA | Learning | April 23, 2013

(I am working at an after school program and my kids have a nasty habit of always asking me to buy them stuff.)

Student #1: “You should give out iPods as prizes.”

Me: “No, [Student #1], I couldn’t do that.”

Student #1: “Why not?”

Me: “Well, to be honest, it’s too expensive. I don’t even buy a lot of nice stuff for myself.”

Student #1: “You’re so selfish! I bet you have a lot of money!”

(Finally, the only nice student I have speaks up.)

Student #2: “Be quiet! If she had money to buy you an iPod, why would you spend it on you? You’re so mean!”

(The nice student got an extra gold star that day.)

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Appropriate Applications Of Apathy

, | Poughkeepsie, NY, USA | Learning | April 23, 2013

Teacher: “[Student], what does ‘me da igua’ mean?”

Student: “I don’t care.”

Teacher: “Good job!”

Student: “That was actually correct? Because I really don’t care.”

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Best Excuse, Period

| Temecula, CA, USA | Learning | April 23, 2013

(I have to change my schedule at the beginning of the school year. The class I end up with is PE, so I get into our PE uniform only to find out they are at the swimming pool.)

Male Teacher: “What do you think you’re doing? Get back into the locker room and change into your swim wear!”

Me: “Sorry. I just got transferred into this class. I wasn’t informed that you were in the middle of swim. My last teacher was doing tennis.”

Male Teacher: “Fine, but bring your towel and swim wear tomorrow. You are swimming! Now walk around the pool the rest of class.”

(Unfortunately, the next morning I start my period and I am unable to use tampons at that time, so I once again come to class in my uniform.)

Male Teacher: “[My name], didn’t I tell you to bring your suit!?”

Me: *embarrassed* “I’m sorry, sir. I… um… I can’t swim today. Or for the next week.”

Male Teacher: “And why not?! Jesus, all you girls are the same. Always refusing to swim! You will be swimming today!”

Me: “Sir! I can’t swim! I can’t use… tampons. So unless you want to bio-hazard the pool, I suggest I walk the track for the week.”

(He turns bright red, apologizes about the whole ordeal, and explains he isn’t married and forgets that girls have a monthly cycle. For the rest of the semester, he never asked for an explanation when a female student said they couldn’t swim.)

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So Much Studying

| Learning | April 23, 2013


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