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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At Least It’s Just Himself He’s Biting, Right?

, , , , , | Learning | February 13, 2020

(I teach third grade and have just gotten a new student. The class is in the library when he arrives and after introductions, he and I are standing on the opposite side of the library from the rest of class. He is painfully shy and nervous, so he doesn’t want to approach the class yet. I am trying to make him feel better.) 

Me: “It’s okay, honey. They don’t bite.” *smiles*

Student: *looking at the class* “But that kid is biting…”

(I look over to see that one of my students is in fact, biting himself on the arm. I am speechless for a moment trying to think of something to say, and I come up with this.)

Me: “Yeah, he does that sometimes. We just ignore it.”

(The poor child was afraid to approach the class for another 30 minutes, during which time we returned to our classroom. I put him in a group with my nicest and most relaxed students. He has now gotten over his nervousness and has made friends… none of whom bite themselves or anyone else.)

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Good Thing The Players Were Smarter Than Their Fans

, , , , , | Learning | February 12, 2020

(It’s the Friday before our local pro football team is going to play in The Big Game, and most students at the school where I teach are wearing team gear. One student comes into the classroom with the star quarterback’s jersey on, but has it on backward.)

Teacher: “Dude, [Student], your shirt’s on backward.”

Student: “Huh?”

Teacher: “Your shirt. It’s supposed to say [Player] on the back, not the front.”

Student: “Oh.”

Teacher: “If you want to go ahead and turn it around right here, you can; I won’t judge.”

Student: *spins on his heels and does a 360*

Teacher: “Never mind; go sit down.”

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