Twinsies! Sort Of. Not Really.

, , , , | Learning | March 28, 2020

(I am a third grade teacher. I have two students who are best friends who look very different from each other. Though they are the same height, [Student #1] has long, light brown hair that she always wears down and she usually wears shorts or jeans and a T-shirt. Her best friend, [Student #2], is skinnier, has shorter, blonde hair that she usually wears in pigtails, has huge pink glasses, and usually wears a blouse, skirt, and knee-length socks. One morning, the girls show up to school very excitedly.)

Student #1: “Notice anything different?”

Me: “I… can’t say I do.” 

Student #2: “Really? Nothing else? We’re dressed like each other!”

Me: “Really…”

Student #1: “Well, okay. We aren’t dressed exactly like each other. We had a sleepover last night, and we decided to pretend to be each other, but she didn’t have any skirts or… those long leg thingies.”

Student #2: “Socks?”

Student #1: “Yeah. She didn’t have any in my size.”

Student #2: “I actually did, but the socks had holes.”

Student #1: “And then we tried to put her hair up but it didn’t want to do that. And I tried to wear my hair like her, but it was uncomfortable, so I wore a ponytail, instead.”

(I didn’t really notice it until then.)

Student #2: “And then I couldn’t give her my glasses, because then I wouldn’t be able to see anything. And she gave me her shirt.”

Me: “So, the only things that changed were that you’re wearing her shirt and changed your hair.”

Student #3: “Hey, [Student #1]… Woah! You look just like her, [Student #2]. Except for the glasses. And she would never wear a ponytail.”

Student #2: “See, Mr. [My Name]! We look exactly the same.” 

(The girls went and sat down next to each other, and for the rest of the day all of the other kids in the class kept gushing about how much [Student #2] looked like [Student #1], even though the only thing that changed was the hair and a shirt.)

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Europa-thetic At Spelling

, , , , , | Learning | March 26, 2020

(I’m in sixth grade in this story and everyone in my class has been assigned a presentation on a body in the solar system. It is my turn.)

Me: “For my presentation, I studied Jupiter’s moon, Io.”

Teacher: “Okay. And how do you spell that?”

Me: “I… O…”

Teacher: “Oh.”

(She didn’t ask me any other questions.)

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This Lesson Headed South

, , , , | Learning | March 14, 2020

(In fourth grade, we have to do a project where we choose a country from Africa to do research on.)

Teacher: “Okay, let’s say what country we’re going to do!”

Student #1: “Egypt.”

Student #2: “Kenya.”

Me: “South Africa.”

Teacher: “No! You don’t understand; you have to do a country! You can’t just choose the southern or northern part of Africa! Look at this map and choose an actual country.”

(I silently pointed to South Africa.)

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At Least It Wasn’t The Chokey

, , , , , | Learning | March 8, 2020

When I was in third grade, a new kid in school took a dislike towards me pretty quickly for some reason. Since he was mischievous, his elder sister paid a visit to our classroom whenever she could and asked his bench-mates to take care of him. The teacher eventually figured out that making him sit in a corner away from all the kids was good for everyone, which only encouraged him to focus on me even more. (That teacher needed to be banned!)

One Friday, my math teacher was acting monstrously toward every student that hadn’t learned their multiplication tables. So, she thought that locking him in the classroom after school would teach him a lesson! I know how crazy that sounds, but that’s actually what happened!

I hated that kid but not to the point that I wanted him to suffer. I waited until everyone left and informed his sister about it, as she always picked him up, and she knew that something was wrong when her brother was nowhere to be seen. The door was locked from the outside, so she was able to get him free.

That poor kid was terrified to death and I still remember his crying face. I am not completely selfless, as I did my fair share of complaining about that boy’s bullying to his sister. She told him that I was “off-limits” from then on. He actually used to look out for me when someone picked on me!

Sadly, the teacher walked away clean because we were children, and the parents didn’t want to make it even hard for the kid in school, but they told us to inform them if anything else happened in the class.

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World-Famous Racism

, , , , , | Learning | February 22, 2020

(It’s Presidents’ Day, 2009. Obama has just been inaugurated. I’m giving a lesson about the White House to some second-graders.)

Me: “And there’s a world-famous rose garden at the White House.”

Student: “Obama’s going to take that out.”

Me: “I don’t think so.”

Student: “He is! He’s going to put in a watermelon patch! My dad says so!”

Me: “Moving on…”

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