|Acrylic on canvas. 16 x20|
You owe me no explanation
I am not real,
I exist but as an idea
whispered in love and
softer than a dream, shared
upon wings of desire...
Placed upon the wind with lips
filled with promise which then
brush lightly at your fingertips
dancing out of reach...
You owe me no explanation
I am not real,
February 23, 2019
There is an old saying that you can either laugh or you can cry. Teachers know this probably more than anybody. While I love teaching kids, I'm not gonna lie, it's not an easy job, and the more we can find the humor in the everyday things that happen while being sequestered with a classroom full of kids, the better life will be. Here are some funny things about my teaching life:
I purchased pencils for students who forget theirs, and labeled them "This pencil borrowed from my teacher." It didn't help with the return rate of borrowed pencils, so the next set of pencils I purchased I labeled "I want to marry Justin Bieber." I get them all back now...
I love to read, and I try to instill that love into my students, not always with success. What I have found to be successful though, is to put a list of books available in the school library and tell middle school students they can't read them because "they have sex in them." You'd be surprised how many students come back to me and tell me that the book didn't...
My principal the other day asked me why my classroom doors are always locked. I gave him the usual blather about child safety, accountability for tardiness, etc. What I didn't tell him was that it is that I do it so I can hear him coming.
Walking through the hallways at our middle school, I saw a substitute teacher standing outside his classroom with his forehead against a locker. I heard him mutter, “How did you get yourself into this?” Knowing he was assigned to a difficult class, I tried to offer moral support. “Are you okay?” I asked. “Can I help?” He lifted his head and replied, “I’ll be fine as soon as I get this kid out of his locker.”
Something parents never consider is the fact that I work with their children all day, every day, so I know what they did last night.
Stressing the importance of a good vocabulary, one day I told my students, "Use a word ten times, and it shall be yours for life." From somewhere in the back of the room, I heard a small male voice chanting, "Trisha, Trisha, Trisha..."
Performing Mozart should have been the highlight of my middle school orchestra class. But after a few uninspired attempts, an exasperated student raised her hand and said, “Mrs. P, we want to play music from our generation, not yours.”
One of my students fell asleep in class with his phone on his desk. I took a selfie with him and left it on his phone.
I created a new award for my classes. I call it the "Bermuda Triangle" award, and it is given for the most homework assignments that have gone missing.
I keep a glass of water in class to drink. When my students ask what I'm drinking, I turn it so they can see the label: "Student's Tears."
In order to encourage kids to do better on their exams, I think I'll start attaching McDonald's job applications to their failed tests.
I have come to the realization that my odds of winning the powerball and having all of my students listen to directions the first time are the same.
I KNOW when students are texting on their phones. I mean seriously, nobody looks down at their crotch and smiles...
When I'm teaching and I ask if there are any questions, I don't mean ANY question, just about the things I'm teaching. Somehow it never fails though, that a student will raise their hand and ask if "Bubbles" is a good name for a hamster.
Kids can really say the darndest things, which makes teaching unexpected, entertaining, and never dull:
A student once complained to me that another student called him the E word. I didn’t know what it was so I asked, and the student replied, “Idiot.”
After a stressful day, I declared out loud that I’d had it for the day. One of my 8th-grade students said to me, “Oh Mrs. P, you just need a wine cooler.”
One day during lunch, a 6th-grade student came up to me asked me why some raisins were yellow while others were black. I didn't know the answer so I asked the 8th-grade teacher who was standing with me if she knew. "Yellow raisins are made from green grapes, and black raisins are made from red grapes," she explained. The student looked and me and said, "Maybe that's why she teaches 8th grade. Because she's smarter than you."
About halfway into the first semester, a student came up to me and said, "I don't want to scare you, but my daddy says if I don't get better grades, somebody is going to get a spanking."
My sixth-grade class would not be quiet for a moment. It was a constant stream of Mrs. P? Mrs. P? Annoyed, I said firmly, "Do you think we could go for just five minutes without someone saying, Mrs. P? The classroom got quiet. Then from the back of the room, a soft voice said: "Um, Joyce?"
One day I wrote on the chalkboard, “I ain’t had no fun all summer.“ "So, students, what should I do to correct this?" I asked. “Get a boyfriend,” one little boy answered.
Every year students take state testing, and I serve as a room monitor. When one student had finished the English portion of the exam, she removed her glasses and started the math questions. "Why aren't you wearing your glasses?" I asked her. "Because my glasses are for reading, and this is math." she replied.
Sometimes parents say the darndest things too:
A parent came to the school to complain to the principal that the English teacher shouldn't have taken points off her daughter's English paper for calling her subject Henry 8 instead of Henry VIII. "We only have regular numbers on our keyboard," she explained. "We don't have roman numerals."
One of my students didn't study for an exam and skipped most of the questions on the test. Mom came in to argue about the failing grade and said she should only be graded on the questions she did answer, so, therefore, she should have scored a 100 since the ones she chose to answer were correct...
The next person who says to me "Oh you're a teacher! It must be so much fun to work from 8 to 3 and have summers off," is going to be zip tied to a chair in my classroom and left with the students after they are given cupcakes.