Leaving A Negative Impression

, , , , | Learning | June 9, 2017

(I am completing my last chemistry lab of the year. The lab was designed based on a textbook the school no longer uses, so our instructor is explaining how to finish the lab report. This teaching assistant is good at demonstrations, but rarely listens to your questions before answering them.)

Teacher’s Assistant: “So, when copper is the cathode, you make the number negative before you solve the equation.” *points to a number on a piece of paper I can’t see*

Me: “Which number?” *there are two possibilities*

Teacher’s Assistant: “When the copper is the cathode.”

Me: “Yes, but which number do I make negative?”

Teacher’s Assistant: “When the copper is the cathode.”

Me: “I asked which number, not when to do it.”

Teacher’s Assistant: *walks over to me, points and where I wrote “Cu” on my lab report* “You see how there the copper is a cathode?”

Me: “Yes! But, do I make this number—” *points* “—or this number—” *points* “negative!”

Teacher’s Assistant: “The voltage of copper.” *leaves annoyed*

(If it was that easy why not tell me the first time I asked?)

They’re All Banding Together

, , , , | Learning | June 7, 2017

(It’s the last week of school, senior year, and I’ve brought my violin to school because I’ve never been able to properly play it for my friends. Our school is so small our marching and concert bands are combined, meaning anyone who wants to be in band needs to pick brass, woodwinds, or percussion. The only other option is the jazz band, which is restricted only to people who are in the regular school band. Therefore, I never applied to either.)

Me: *fiddling, with my friends clapping along*

Band Director: *butts into the middle of the circle* “Stop! Stop!” *we do, fearing we’re in trouble* “[My Name], since when do you play the violin?”

Me: “Since I was… eight or nine? Why?”

Band Director: “Why didn’t you ever apply for band?!”

Me: “I didn’t want to play the trumpet or sax.”

Band Director: *annoyed now* “No, I meant jazz band. You should have applied, you know.”

My Friend: *who’s in band* “You specifically tell people not to bother applying for jazz band unless they’re already in band.”

Me: “You also laughed me out of the room when I asked you what to do if I wanted to play an instrument that’s not in the marching band.”

Band Director: *turns red* “W-well, you should have persisted! Or gotten someone to vouch for you! Well, there’s nothing you can do to fix this now.” *he walks off, muttering to himself about me being a ‘waste of talent’*

(Even if I did want to join the band, I think I dodged a bullet with him.)

Had Them Typecast

, , , , , | Learning | June 6, 2017

(I have just been hired as a computers/technology teacher. I’ve decided to make my grade five and six classes learn touch typing, as it’s a valuable skill. I’m a bit worried they’re going to put up a fight and groan about it, as most of them just want to play computer games in class, so I have a trick up my sleeve that I hope will convince them to get on board. I have just made them all take a typing test. Most of them averaged 10-20 words per minute.)

Me: “Okay, guys, everyone come back and sit on the carpet. I want to show you something.” *I pull up the same typing test onto my computer which projects onto a board, so they can see my screen.* “I’m going to show you why we’re learning this.”

(I take the same typing test that they’ve just done. However I am a very fast typist and break 100 words per minute with zero errors. My students watch, first in silence, but as time ticks down they start to shout and chant. By the end of the test half of them are on their feet cheering me on. Not gonna lie; I feel like a superstar.)

Student: “Daaaaaang, she types faster than Usain Bolt runs!”

(I have them start the typing program and they literally run to their computers. After class ends I hear many of them talk about my typing skills as they file out of the room. The next day several students tell me they logged onto the program at home to practice more. They’re now so excited to learn, and would rather practice typing than play computer games in class. I love my job!)


These Kids Are Gonna Crucify You

, , , | Learning | June 5, 2017

(I’m a Sunday School teacher for the six to eight year olds. At this particular lesson, we are learning about the Crucifixion of Christ.)

Me: “So Christ said, ‘My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ And that means ‘Why are you ignoring me?’ He felt like God didn’t love Him anymore.”

(Later in the lesson, they are getting rowdy and not paying attention. We’ve been working on empathy and internally-motivated morality (ie. doing moral things because you want to be moral, rather than fear of punishment or adherence to rules), so I take this approach:)

Me: “Oh, dear. No one is listening to me, and that doesn’t make me feel very loved, unfortunately.”

Student: “Guys! Guys! Why are you forsaking her?!”

(They did immediately start listening again.)

Good People Are Noticed When Bad Things Happen

, , , , | Hopeless | June 2, 2017

In this school, while the pupils have lockers, these are not big enough to keep all your things in them. So the pupils put their coats on hangers in the classroom. Usually, the classrooms are supposed to get locked up during recess, but the teachers don’t always follow through with this rule.

So, one day, my daughter comes home, having an amount of money stolen from her — near to 100 €. Due to the circumstances, it is certain none of her classmates could be the thief, as they all go to another, specialised classroom while another class uses their room, as is not uncommon in German schools.

It’s all her pocket money, saved up, and while it really wasn’t the best decision to take so much money to school without any need to, it still is theft. She reports the theft to the responsible teacher. The teacher tells her to wait a few days while the class teachers will announce to the involved classes the story of the theft and their policy of “all will be forgotten if you return the money.”

But, only a day later, I find a letter in our postbox, addressed to my daughter but having no stamps nor a sender address. When she opens the letter, she finds in it the amount stolen from her and an unsigned card, saying “This is for you, even if the stolen money turns up again.”

Since she doesn’t know who gave her the money, on the next occasion, she makes a thank you speech in front of class and treats everybody, including her teacher, to a popsicle, because she’s so overwhelmed by this.

Due to some hints in the letter and the card, we’re pretty certain guessing which of her teachers gave the money.

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