Color Me Kind

, , , , , | Hopeless | April 24, 2018

I had to start fifth grade in a new school in a new city. My new school was six times bigger than my old school, and it was overwhelming. My mother had left an abusive situation that spring, and we had to start all over with no support. We only moved to the area a few weeks before classes started, and with very little money for necessities, let alone anything else, I went to school with a nearly empty backpack and a promise that she’d get my supplies as soon as she could.

A couple of weeks passed, and it must have become obvious that my mother was not going to be able to provide all of my supplies in a timely manner. Meanwhile, homework was starting to be due, and I was running out of what little I had. One day I opened my desk to see a couple of cute notebooks — with pink paper! — some name-brand colored pencils, and other basic supplies. I found out that my teacher and the teacher’s aide had quietly taken it upon themselves to buy what I needed.

After that year, we moved halfway across the country and I’ve never been able to find that teacher online to tell her how things turned out. It’s been several years now. I have a college degree, a family of my own, and the finances to pay it forward, which I do any chance I get. I will always remember that act of kindness.

Look Who’s Talking

, , , , , | Learning | April 23, 2018

(I’m a middle school teacher. For our novel study at the end of the year, I have students do vocabulary periodically throughout the book. I tell students that today we’ll be doing vocabulary.)

Student: “Vocabulary is for nerds.”

Me: “Without vocabulary, you wouldn’t talk, so I guess you’re a nerd.”

April School’s

, , , , , | Learning | April 21, 2018

I went to a small middle school in a small-ish building. One year on April Fool’s day, my class decided to play a prank on our science teacher.

Before class, we snuck in and left a note on his overhead projector saying that we had unanimously decided to skip his class. We then left a trail of paper footprints going down the stairs, through the gym, and up into the drama closet, which held costumes, props, and the like.

We all crowded in and waited. When he got close to the closet, we ran up through the drama classroom, and back down the stairs and into the science classroom, stifling giggles the whole way. When he threw open the door to the closet and roared, trying to startle us, he found it empty. When he got back to his classroom, we were all sitting at the tables like perfect angels.

The Fluffy Chronicles

, , , , , , | Learning | April 5, 2018

(I am and have always been an avid and fast reader. I finish my in-class reading and pull out a “fun” book: a fantasy novel with a witch on a broomstick on the cover.)

Teacher: “Finish your assigned reading.”

Me: “I am finished.”

Teacher: “No, you’re not.”

Me: “I read the assignment, answered the questions, and turned them in to you.”

Teacher: *prowls up beside my desk and grabs my book* “You need to finish your work before reading fluff!”

(I hang onto the book with all my strength, and she is visibly surprised.)

Me: “I finished the reading and turned in my questions. And this is a library book; it is not yours to take!”

(The teacher keeps pulling, I keep hanging on, and she realizes that the whole class is watching her lose a tug-of-war with a 12-year-old over a book about witches.)

Teacher: “Fine!”

(She goes to her desk and grabs my turned-in paper. I watch over the top of my book as she gets visibly annoyed. At the end of class, she hands me my 100% correct paper.)

Teacher: “You still shouldn’t be reading fluff in science class!

(I still read fluff!)

Epi’s And Lockdowns And Police, Oh My!

, , , , | Learning | April 4, 2018

I am working a long-term substituting position as a front office secretary. I love it because I don’t have to deal with a big group of kids all day, and I get to hear all the juicy stuff going on in the school. A couple highlights from my first week:

  1. Yesterday, a student found an epipen on the PE field. Instead of turning it in, like a normal person would, he decided to inject himself with it. He got a free ride to the hospital in the back of an ambulance.
  2. We had a lockdown drill today. Yay. Everyone in the office — around 20 people — files into the supply room, which is thankfully big enough to hold all of us. We wait around ten or fifteen minutes when the resource officer opens the door to let us know that, apparently, the first announcement wasn’t heard by anyone because the rest of the campus is acting normally. Cue another ten or fifteen minutes of sitting around doing nothing while the police officers run another check of the school.
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