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Some Teachers Aren’t Mature Enough To Handle First-Graders

, , , | Learning | May 27, 2022

In kindergarten, I took an aptitude test that qualified me to go on to first grade. That teacher was a nightmare and I hated her. I was there for a month and never seemed to do anything right. Every day, she found a reason to take recess from me. Sometimes it was because my backpack was hanging open in my cubby. Other times, she couldn’t read my handwriting, or I was using a mechanical pencil instead of a regular pencil. Once it was because I was coughing.

On my last full day of first grade, about a month after I was moved up, we were having quiet reading time before arts and crafts. I got my markers out and started reading. [First Grade Teacher] picked up the box of markers and threw them across the room. Everyone stopped reading and turned to us. 

First Grade Teacher: “Why are you using your markers?”

Me: “I’m not. They’re—”

First Grade Teacher: “Put them away. This is quiet reading time.”

Me: “Okay.”

She stood over me as I cleaned up.

First Grade Teacher: “I don’t understand why you would have them out at all. “

Me: “I was getting ready for arts and crafts.”

First Grade Teacher: “You will get ready when I tell you to get ready. Now apologize!”

Me: *Quietly* “I’m sorry.”

She erased craft time from the board and extended our math lesson. Everybody hated me that day. Again, I wasn’t allowed to have recess for my “bad behavior” and cried the whole time.

I told my parents about how the teacher was treating me and they called the principal. The next day, [Kindergarten Teacher] walked me to my classroom but stopped just outside the door.

First Grade Teacher: “[My Name], I got a call about you this morning. Do you believe I was unfair to you yesterday?”

Me: *Timid* “Well… I—”

First Grade Teacher: “If you can’t be mature, you can go back to [Kindergarten Teacher]’s class. I don’t know why [Principal] thought you could do this, but obviously, you’re not ready.”

[Kindergarten Teacher] walked around the corner. [First Grade Teacher] startled, then regained her composure. 

First Grade Teacher: “Welcome, [Kindergarten Teacher]! How can I help you?”

Kindergarten Teacher: “I think it’s time for [My Name] to come back with me.”

Me: *About to cry* “But—”

Kindergarten Teacher: “Don’t worry, [My Name]. You didn’t do anything wrong. Let’s go.”

I finished the year in kindergarten. When first grade came around, I was assigned to [First Grade Teacher] again. Thankfully, my parents stepped in and refused. I was reassigned to a different teacher and had a great year.

Luckily, It Probably Went A Mile Over The Students’ Heads

, , , , , , | Learning | May 23, 2022

We have a new second-grade teacher hired from another state. She puts up a bulletin board to spotlight student work and to highlight their successes. She’s from Denver, and she titles it with a phrase popular in Colorado.

Later, the administration had to politely ask her not to title her display of classwork “The Mile High Club.”

That Was My First Thought, Too, Honestly

, , , , , | Learning | April 27, 2022

I’m teaching a unit on the Winter Olympics.

Second-Grader: “What’s biathlon?”

Me: “It’s a combination of skiing and shooting.”

The student’s eyes go wide.

Me: “Not at the same time!”

Wise Words To Live By

, , , , | Learning | April 21, 2022

One day, when my younger sister was in kindergarten, her class had a field trip. The teacher told everyone to use the bathroom before they left as they had a long bus ride ahead of them. When my sister said she didn’t need to go, the teacher insisted. She said my sister couldn’t go on the trip unless she used the bathroom.

My sister then proceeded to walk into the bathroom, only to come out a few minutes later.

Sister: “You can make me go to the bathroom, but you can’t make me go pee.”

I wish I’d had the confidence to stand up to a teacher at that age.

Maybe If I’d Learned That Song I’d Be Better At Math

, , , , , , , , | Learning | April 11, 2022

This took place in 2001. I was nine years old and in third grade. We were just starting to learn multiplication and were learning the multiples of threes. My teacher warned us that from here on out, the multiplications were going to get harder and she didn’t want us to feel overwhelmed, so she came up with a song to help us remember the solutions to multiplying threes.

Teacher: “I am going to sing a song that’ll help you memorize all the multiples of three up to the number thirty. I sing this song every year to my students and I’ve had past students, including middle schoolers and even high schoolers, who come back to visit me tell me they remember this song. Are you ready?”

Us: “Yes!”

Teacher: “Three, six, nine, the monkey drank wine; twelve, fifteen, eighteen, we’re going skating; twenty-one, twenty-four, twenty-seven, we’re almost to heaven; thirty!”

Our class erupted in laughter at the silliness of the song, and we asked her to sing it again which she did.

Classmate #1: “Mrs. [Teacher], there’s no way we’re going to remember this when we get older. It’s too silly!”

Teacher: “You might say that now, but I’m telling you, I have students from many years ago come up to me and say one of their favorite memories was learning this song and they still use it to this day!”

Classmate #2: “Yeah, right!”

Fast forward to today. I just turned thirty and I taught my nine-year-old nephew, who is just starting to learn how to multiply, this song my teacher sang all those years ago. It might sound silly, but it turns out she was right when she said we would never forget that song!