Diary of a not so wimpy teacher vol 1. Skool Daze
I've been teaching for a loooooong time and have had hundreds of funny interactions with my students. Here are just a few. I hope they bring a smile to your face.
Little Bit is an autistic 4ft. fifth grader who looks like he should be in second grade. He looks innocent enough but don't let his teddy bear and google goggles fool you, behind that mask is the mind of an evil genius (well maybe not evil-but definitely genius). LB's is really good at looking like he isn't paying attention to anything that goes on in the classroom by sniper crawling across the floor, but looks can be deceiving,he will ace every test and quiz you put in front of him. Goosebumps books thrill him, social studies bores him, but absolutely nothing fazes him. Don't make the mistake of letting him challenge you to a game of "Make Seven" because you will lose-you will lose every time-and that's his plan; to dominate every board game, in every classroom, all the time. I think I will teach him chess next week-well maybe not, I don't know if my ego can take it.
As I was walking my class to the restroom today I noticed a small black lump hopping up and down in the hallway. Upon closer inspection I discovered it was LB. He had his knees tucked up against his chest, head down upon his knees, and sweatshirt zipped up over his head. I had an inkling of what he was doing, but I moved in for a closer look. I bent down and whispered to the wildly hopping lump:
Mrs. C.: LB what are you doing?
LB: I'm undercover.
Mrs. C.: As what?
LB: A chicken with his head cut off.
I watched as three 5th grader quickly moved in an attempt to dodge the wildly hopping lump.
Mrs. C.: Come with me.
LB unzips his sweatshirt and obediently comes. As we got to the restroom where my class was taking a break I asked:
Mrs. C.: LB do you know how many of the other kids almost stepped on you?
LB: How would I? My head was cut off.
Mrs. C.: That's awesome, but do you think you could wait to have your head cut off until you go to recess or go home? It just isn't safe to do it in the hallway.
LB: winks Gotcha!
LB turns around and goes back to where his class is standing. I continue to monitor my students. On the way back to our room I spy LB trying to climb the lockers.
Mrs. C.: LB, what are you doing?
LB: Climbing lockers.
Mrs. C.: Do you remember what we just talked about?
LB: It's not safe?
Mrs. C.: Right...
LB: Gotcha, gives me a thumbs up
I didn't see anymore headless chickens or locker climbers for the rest of the day, at least I don't think I did.
To The Person Who Gave Me Pink Eye
You got me-again. For the second time in less than a month you have managed to give me pink eye. I don't know how you did it-I thought that having you wash and disinfect your hands more often and having the room sanitized would have stopped your evil eye booger virus-but obviously I underestimated you. Somehow you managed to penetrate my defenses and take me out once more, but this is the last time my friend-that I promise you. I also promise that I will hunt you down and find you. It may take a me a day, a week, or a month, but find you I will and when I do I am going to sign you up to be used as a target when the gym teacher introduces archery to the first graders.
Yesterday my fifth graders played Bingo as part of their holiday celebration. Earlier in the week I ask the parents to donate an inexpensive wrapped item that we could use for prizes. I was happy to see that I had at least one "prize" for everyone. When we play for prizes or treats in my room the rule is that you can win many times-but you can only have one prize-if you have already won a prize you must give any subsequent winnings to a member of the class who hasn't won yet.
Things were going great the kids were having fun and everyone had one of the wrapped surprises on their desk. It came time for the students to open their gifts and the majority of kids were happy with what they got. Except for Mel. Mel is a great kid, (with the kind of parents you don't want to hack off) but she is very quiet and shy. One of the other kids told me Mel was upset and when I looked at her I saw that Mel's eyes were glassy with unshed tears. I asked her what was wrong and it turned out that one of the little stinker boys in our class brought an EMPTY GIFT BAG for a prize and poor Mel wasn't happy with her gift of air.
"Brighten up!" I told her, "There are extra prizes on my desk." She immediately smiled and rushed to my desk to retrieve one of the wrapped goodies. Her joy was short lived though because when she opened the package she discovered someone had brought A USED STICK OF DEODORANT! Yes, you read it correctly-A USED STICK OF DEODORANT!! I know that I'm not supposed to laugh at things like that, but it was hard- how can I be expected to not at least crack a smile when someone sends a whacked gift like that to a fifth grade Christmas party? I made it up to her though and let her choose something from my treasure box. She chose a package of Lee press-on nails.
Starbase and Spiders
Yesterday our class got to go to the local Air National Guard Base for the first time to participate in the Starbase program. The five week program teaches the students about scientific subjects like astronomy, physics, and engineering by using really cool scientific experiments and computer programs.
LB appointed himself my "bus buddy" and on our way back to school filled me in on all of the things he did with his group that day.
LB: “Did they ask you to check and tell them what kind of person you were?”
Me: “Yes, what did you tell them?”
LB: Pulls up his shirt and points to his arm, “White duh. What did you tell them?”
Me: “Spider” I replied as I wiggled my fingers in his face.
LB: Scratching his head, “Huh? Spider?”
Me: “Yep, spider.” I replied winking.
LB: Clearly thinking that I am pulling his leg, “Hey wait a minute how can you be a spider? You don’t have eight legs!”
Me: Looking at him very seriously, “LB I'm not Aspider, I'm only half spider-on my mom's side. My dad is Hungarian."
LB: Thinks for a minute then smiles and says, "Awesome, can you spin a web?"
Fifth grade farts
I truly believe that Social Retardation should be a category in special education. It is a real affliction and lots of people suffer from it, including Sam. He was exhibiting the classic social retardation symptom of "pay attention to me" by being inappropriate and shouting during a lesson in the classroom this afternoon. He attempted to derail the lesson I was teaching by complaining loudly that someone had farted.
Sam: Eeewwww somebody farted!!!
Sam: Somebody farted!!
Sam: Man! Somebody farted!
Mrs. C: Stops teaching Everybody farts, it's no big deal. Continues with lesson.
Sam: Eeewww it stinks, it really stinks!
Sam: Yuck somebody farted and it really stinks!
Mrs. C: Sam, farts stink. That's why they are called farts. If they didn't stink they would be called flowers.
Sam is quiet for a moment, then begins shouting COOL after each of Ms. C's sentences.
Mrs. C: How do you know that the number on the bottom of the fraction is 6?
Class: Because the denominator stays the same.
Mrs. C:Ok, lets look at the next fraction.
Mrs. C: Sam look at your book.
After about the tenth COOL Mrs. C calmly says
Mrs. C: Sam just because your brain thinks something doesn't mean you have to speak it. Next time you feel the need to shout something that is totally unimportant squeeze your fingers together like this (Mrs. C demonstrates) That will be a signal telling your brain not to open your mouth.
After the 10th AMAZING Mrs. C calmly responds
Mrs. C: Sam maybe you didn't understand me, squeeze your fingers together like this (Mrs. C demonstrates)and it will send a signal to your brain telling you not to open your mouth.
Sam begins to say AMAZING
Mrs. C: but be sure to squeeze your fingers and not your butt cheeks we wouldn't want you to fart.
Sam gapes at Mrs. C, begins to giggle, and proceeds to finish his fraction work without uttering a sound.