13 May 2009


1. Today’s assignment required colored paper. Normally I set out an assortment of colors and let the children choose their own paper. Today the kids were in trouble (something about drugs in my classroom twice in a week and a bottle of water thrown at me) and therefore were not allowed out of their seats. So I went to my closet and discovered that the significant majority of my paper supply was pink. I handed each student a piece of pink paper and started to explain the assignment. I was interrupted by the following conversation:

John: This is new, why can’t we choose our own paper?

Red Head: There isn’t a color choice today. Everyone gets pink.

John: I don’t like pink.

Red Head: There isn’t a color choice today. Everyone gets pink.

Virginia: Can I have a piece of blue paper.

Red Head: There isn’t a color choice today. Everyone gets pink.

Charlie: Miss, is it pink for breast cancer awareness?

Red Head: Sure. That sounds good

Virginia: Miss, you have breast cancer?

Red Head: No. I don’t, and please don’t start that rumor.

Fred: Yeah! We’re supposed to be starting the rumor that she’s pregnant.

I don’t know why they think they’re supposed to be starting that rumor, but apparently they’re not up to multitasking in their gossip.

2. Another entertaining conversation:

Jason (of giraffe fame): Miss, are you coming back next year?

Red Head: (in a tired, bitter, frustrated sort of way) Well, I drive 40 miles to get here, which can take up to an hour, so I have to leave around 5:30 in the morning, and I spend a whole lot of money on gas and tolls. I don’t know why I would continue to do that next year.

Andy: Because you love us!

06 May 2009

Animals Yet Again

I am now teaching World War II. With all the fascism and genocide the 1940’s can be kind of a depressing topic, so I try to break up all the Nazism with an occasional inspiring story. Today I told the kids about the Battle of Britain. I told them that the German air force, also known as the Luftwaffe, would come across the English channel and bomb the British every night for nearly an entire year (In case you were wondering, that’s not the inspiring part of the story.) I explained that the airplane was still relatively new technology, and the planes could only attack the southern part of the country before they would have to turn around and refuel. While the southern half of the country lay mostly in ruins, the northern cities of Great Britain remained basically untouched. (Here comes the inspiring part…) So in a motivating display of concern and cooperation the northern British opened their homes to the children from the southern cities. Most of the children were evacuated and lived the war years in relative safety.

Hoping to help the kids get a mental image of the time period, I told them that this is what happens in the beginning of the movie The Chronicles of Narnia, and that the first five minutes of the movie are actually pretty historically accurate. One of the kids raised his hand. I was kind of shocked by his display of appropriate behavior, and almost forgot how to respond. Then I remembered that the correct teacher response to a raised hand is to call on the student by name. When I called on him he asked, “So there really were talking lions back then?”

At least he raised his hand.