Getting An F-Grade

, , , , , , | Learning | January 19, 2020

I am an American working as a foreign English teacher. Most of the two-hour classes for the three older age groups are done by two teachers. One teacher teaches the first hour, and then there is a fifteen-minute break followed by a second hour with a different teacher. 

For one of my higher-level classes for the seven-to-ten-year-old age group, I am the first teacher; however, my co-teacher is unavailable this day. This is not uncommon, and usually, another teacher would be assigned that slot to substitute teach for that day. However, in this instance, I am the only teacher who has that hour free and is qualified to teach that level. As such, I find myself in the rare position of covering my own class. 

The students are not informed when they are having a substitute teacher, so after my hour is done, I gather my materials for the second half of today’s lesson. I walk back upstairs, open the door, and see seven surprised and confused faces wondering why I have returned when they were expecting my co-teacher. One of my ten-year-old students decides to vocalize his surprise with a western colloquialism he has picked up.

“What the f***?!”

Well… at least he used it correctly.

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Very Young Age Before Beauty

, , | Working | January 16, 2020

(I am babysitting a four-year-old girl. She is twirling around the living room in ballet slippers and a dress with a “magic wand,” occasionally pausing and demanding applause from her audience, which is me. Suddenly, she stops and bops me gently on the head with her wand.)

Girl: “I have turned you into a beautiful person!”

Me: “Oh, thank you!”

Girl: “You’re welcome!”

Me: “Wait… Does that mean I’m not a beautiful person usually?”

Girl: “You are a beautiful person. Now.”

(Talk about d***ed by faint praise!)

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Pretty Sure Those Things Leave A Bigger Bite

, , , , | Working | January 14, 2020

(It’s been less than a year since I moved roughly 1550 miles to my new home. When mosquito season comes around I have a pretty bad reaction to the bites. Since I can’t just go to work covered in calamine, I put adhesive bandages over them. There are a lot. And the only bandages I have are neon. Because of this, at work, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid questions from customers about what happened. I tell dramatic lies and almost everyone plays along.)

Young Girl: “What happened to your arms?”

Me: “I fought a bear...”

Young Girl: *blandly* “Oh.”

Me: “…and won.”

Young Girl: “Okay.”

(She paid for her items and left without another word. The next customer began asking questions about my fierce battle. It still amuses me that out of all the stories I made up that day, the only person who wouldn’t play along was a little kid.)

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Wizard Of Thrones

, , , , , | Related | January 11, 2020

(We are watching “The Wizard Of Oz” on TV.)

Eight-Year-Old: “Mummy, they need a brain, a heart, and… what does the lion need?”

Me: “Well, think about it; if the lion is scared of everything, what does he need to feel powerful?”

Eight-Year-Old: “A sword!”

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Bedtime Can Go Take A Nap!

, , , , , | Related | January 10, 2020

It’s naptime for my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. She’s a pro at stalling; she needs to use the potty, we need to cuddle — I split time with her father so obviously I’ll never say no to cuddles when she asks — we need to read a few stories, etc. Finally, I get her tucked into her crib but she has this devilish grin on her face as I say, “Good night.” 

About ten minutes later, I crack open her door to check on her and see her laying in her crib — she doesn’t know how to climb in and out yet — with a book propped on her chest. She tried to pretend to be asleep but knew she was caught! As an avid reader, I can’t get mad; I just make her promise me she’ll get some sleep during naptime. 

I check 15 minutes later and she is genuinely sleeping. Now I know I need to check her crib for “contraband” before laying her down to bed!

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