There’s No Substitute For Compassion

, , , , , , | Learning | January 9, 2021

This happens when I’m in the second grade back in the 1990s. We have a substitute teacher for the day. Normally, we have two classroom bathroom breaks, but if we are having an emergency our teacher lets us go. I’ve been starting to feel nauseous and go ask the sub to go to the bathroom.

Sub Teacher: “No, you can wait until the whole class goes.”

Me: “But Miss [Sub Teacher], I really don’t feel good.”

Sub Teacher: “I said wait. Now go sit down!”

I went back to my desk defeated and progressively feeling worse, laying my head on my desk. Eventually, we were called to get in line, but due to how bad I felt, I ended up at the end with only four stalls for a class of ten girls. As we waited, I felt it coming and started heaving in line. The sub quickly grabbed me, pushing me into one of the stalls, but it was too late. I puked all over the floor and on her shoes. I found that to be wonderful Karma.

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A Kid Who Likes Math?!

, , , , | Learning | December 29, 2020

Two students are sitting and drawing together, discussing what they want to be when they are older.

Student #1: “I like maths; maybe I will have a job with that.”

Student #2: “What are they called?”

Student #1: “They’re called math-a-magicians!”

Student Support Worker: “I feel that can be a good description for some accountants.”

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But What If They Come At Her With A Pointed Stick?!

, , , | Related | September 3, 2020

Lately, my six-year-old daughter has been rather obsessed with the idea of fighting bad guys. Maybe I’ve been letting her watch too many shows about kid superheroes. Who knows?

One day, I collect her from afternoon care and see that she’s made a paper mask and is carrying a couple of sticks she picked up. When I ask her about them, she explains:

Daughter: “This is my superhero mask, and this stick is for threatening people so they go away. But if they don’t go away, I have this other one so I can stab them in the heart so they die.”

Me: “Wow, that sounds pretty violent.”

Daughter: “Yes, that’s why I made this creepy mask. It’s to scare them away, because I don’t want to have to be a murderer. Because then I would have to go to kid jail, and then I could never go to a sleepover again.”

I’m honestly not sure how I’m supposed to respond to that. I can’t fault her logic, at least! And for the record, no, she has never tried to stab anyone in real life.

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This Conversation Just Became Priority Number Two

, , , | Learning | July 2, 2020

I am a junior primary teacher teaching year two — seven- and eight-year-olds. My class is on Free Activity, playing quietly in the classroom. I take a phone call from the principal. We are having a serious discussion about the consequences for [Male Student’s] recent behaviour.

Female Student: *Running up* “MISS [MY NAME], I NEED TO POOP!”

Me: *To the principal* “One moment.” *To the student* “Okay, [Female Student]. Please go to the toilet.”

Female Student: *At top volume* “I NEED TO POOP! IT’S COMIN’ OUT!”

Me: “Okay, just stay calm and go to the toilet—”


Me: *To the principal* “I think I need to handle this.”

I hung up. The student needed some persuading to stop yelling and go to the toilet. She was fine and didn’t need a change of pants. In fact, she came back in with a huge grin and a thumbs-up! Later, when I went to see my principal to continue our discussion, he and the vice principal were having a big giggle about what they’d heard through the phone.

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What A Load Of Crap

, , , , , , | Working | April 16, 2020

I worked at an elementary school summer camp one summer with nine kids aged one to three attending the camp. There were two of us working that summer so we each had to watch four or five kids at all times. At the end of the summer, my boss asked if I’d come back the next summer to work at the camp again and I agreed, assuming it would be about the same as this year.

The following summer, I showed up for work and found out that this year we had two workers to watch nineteen kids all aged one to three. Needless to say, I’ve never been so exhausted or changed so many diapers in my life.

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