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Sending The Bully Crying To His Mom

, , , , , | Learning | May 19, 2020

My mom and I look very much alike, to the point that my family often jokes I’m her clone with my dad’s health problems thrown in. Think Reese Witherspoon and her daughter — that level of similarity.

My mom is a substitute teacher, and she sometimes subs at my school or even for my class. I’ve long since gotten over the awkwardness of calling her “Mom” in class, since it’s obvious anyway. I’m somewhat new at my school, and this is the first time my mom has subbed for my class at this school. When she’s about to turn on a projector, I happen to be sitting closest to the light switch.

One boy in the class, also a new student, badly wants to be the class clown but is actually just a bully.

Mom: “[My Name], can you hit the lights?”

Me: “Sure, Mom.”

Bully: *Pointing at me and laughing* “Haha! You called the sub ‘Mom’!”

There’s a moment of silence as the entire class contemplates how stupid his comment was. The bully seems upset that he hasn’t gotten the whole class jeering at me.

Classmate #1: “Dude… that is her mom.”

Bully: “What? How would you know that?”

Classmate #1: “Just look at them.”

Bully: “But I— I didn’t know that!”

Classmate #2: “And do you really think we have two [Extremely Uncommon Last Name]s in the same room by chance?”

Classmate #1: “Seriously, [Bully], just sit down and shut up.”

He did sit down and shut up. Within a few months, he realized his mean attempts at being funny weren’t getting anywhere, and he started acting a lot nicer. I’m glad I attended a school where the students didn’t put up with things like that.

This Teacher’s Confusion Will Make You Sweat

, , , , , | Learning | April 19, 2020

My private school has some strange rules about sweaters and jackets that students can wear in the building. They have to be in school colors, they can’t be sweatshirts, they can’t be “outdoor jackets,” they can’t have any kind of logo, and only sweaters can have a zipper.

My mother and I find a sweater at the beginning of sixth grade that seems to fit the bill. I get it approved by the lead middle school teacher — my science teacher — and wear it all winter with no problems.

The next winter, I bring it out again on the first cold day. I go to my first couple of classes with no issues. Then, I get to computer class, where there’s a new teacher. He’s very strict. A few minutes into class, he calls me up to his desk. Please note that I’m a very quiet, sensitive kid who literally never gets into any kind of trouble at school.

Me: “Yes, sir?”

He hands me a dress code and detention slip. I stare at him, mouth agape.

Me: “But… why?”

Teacher: “No zippers on sweaters, [My Name].”

Me: “But… but I wore this all last year! And [Science Teacher] said—”

Teacher: “I know you don’t ever get in trouble around here, but you need to learn that the rules apply to you, too. Sit down.”

I walk back to my desk in tears. My nearby classmates get up to sympathize until the teacher death-glares them and they return to their seats. I put my head down on the desk. I sit near the front, so I overhear the teacher making a call.

Teacher: “Hi, [Science Teacher]? It’s [Teacher], and I have a problem.” *Pause* “I have a student crying in my class because of a dress code detention.” *Pause* “[My Name].” *Pause* “Yes, really! She’s not immune to rules.” *Pause* “Sweater with a zipper.” *Pause* “Yes, it’s in school colors.” *Pause* “Yes.” *Pause* “Oh.” *Pause* “How was I supposed to know that?” *Pause* “Okay, okay, okay! I didn’t know.” *Pause* “Yes, I will.” *Pause* “Bye.”

He hangs up and calls me back up. I shuffle back up to his desk, still sniffling.

Teacher: “Give me the dress code and detention slips, please.”

I hand it over. He rips it up and throws it in the trash.

Teacher: “And I do owe you an apology. [Science Teacher] explained the dress code to me. I didn’t realize that this sweater was approved. I’m sorry. Please stop crying…”

I sat down. He didn’t issue any more dress codes the rest of the year. When I got to science class, my teacher pulled me aside to assure me again that I didn’t have detention.

A Frustrating Type Of Teacher

, , , , , | Learning | March 18, 2020

(When I’m 14, in the early nineties, I’m very shy and hold my parents in high regard. For Dutch class, we have to write an application letter to a fictional company. It’s Monday, the first hour of school, when this happens. I’ve just turned in my application letter and we’re supposed to be reading a piece of homework. Our teacher is very old-school.)

Teacher: “[My Name], come over here, please.”

(I go up to his desk, feeling very anxious about being in full view of the whole class.)

Teacher: “What’s this?” 

(He holds up my application letter, which I typed on our computer; I even went as far as to type up the envelope.)

Me: “That’s my application letter, sir.”

Teacher: “Why did you type this? I told you to write it!”

Me: “Well, my dad says companies nowadays like to see letters typed up on a computer as it shows you can type and use a computer.”

Teacher: “But didn’t I tell you to write it?”

Me: “Yes, but my dad…”

Teacher: *interrupting me and sounding really annoyed* “Who would know about these things better? Me or your dad?”

(Oh, boy, wrong question.)

Me: “My dad, sir, because he works at the employment agency!”

(The teacher turns bright red.)


(I literally legged it out the door as the class went wild. That day I learned that telling the truth isn’t always the best idea. I didn’t tell my dad this until years later. He found it hilarious!)

Dress Code Change Is Good

, , , , , | Learning | February 10, 2020

(I’m in middle school and I’m dealing with bullies. The ringleader has made it her mission to make my life miserable. My parents know and have contacted the principal several times. Unfortunately, it’s a very small private school, so not much is done. These kids are in all my classes, and there’s nowhere to move them or me. My homeroom teacher caught them at it one morning and has done her best to keep them away from me, but no other teacher has noticed. I’m on my way to science, and my main bully has come up behind me and is making loud, nasty comments. I stay quiet. I know from past experience that she wants me to react badly so she can go running to a teacher and claim that I “started it.” I notice that my science teacher is standing outside his classroom, watching, with a frown on his face. I enter the classroom. He stops my bully. Note: we’ve got a very strict dress code. One of the rules is that everyone’s uniform shirts must be tucked in. My bully’s shirt is not.)

Teacher: “Miss [Bully]. Forgetting something?”

Bully: “Huh?”

Teacher: “Dress code.”

Bully: “Oh, come on.”

Teacher: “Fix the shirt.”

Bully: “It’s always like this!”

Teacher: “And now you have a dress code and detention!”

Bully: *shrieks*What?! That’s not fair!”

Teacher: “Keep running your mouth at people and I’ll give you another one!”

(She meekly accepts her detention slip and sits down. Her seat is always near mine. My teacher looks at my side of the room, makes a face, and claps his hands.)

Teacher: “Surprise! We’re moving seats!”

(Cue assorted groans from the class.)

Teacher: “Yeah, yeah. Change is good.”

(He moved everyone around. I was now seated at the back of the room. My bully and her friends were seated on the very front row, as far away from me as they could get. For the rest of the year, my science teacher stood outside his door and watched my class enter. I switched schools the next year. Years later, I realized that he’d figured out what was going on and was trying to help as best he could. For that, I’m thankful.)

With Climate Change, Who Can Tell These Days?

, , , , | Learning | February 4, 2020

(It is February at the beginning of art class. One of my classmates, [Student #1], isn’t the smartest person.)

Teacher: “Remember to put the date on your paper.”

Student #1: “What’s the date?”

Everyone: “The 19th.”

Student #1: “But what month?”

Student #2: *obviously joking* “July.”

(End of class:)

Teacher: “And don’t forget the date; just write 2/19 on the bottom of your paper.”

Student #1: *confused but completely sincere* “But why would it be 2/19 if it’s July?”

(I’m still confused as to how she thought it was actually July. There were three feet of snow on the ground and we were still in the second quarter of school.)