I, for one, am a fan of Roman numerals. This week brings you more merry mishaps straight from the classroom.
One of my favourite tasks for my Kindergartners is asking them to wink. As a four sound word, it often comes up in my ‘Teacher Says’ blending game (after all, who is this Simon?). My students will often scrunch up both eyes for extended amounts of time, or creepily stare at me through one eye as they squeal, “Look!” One child who had mastered the skill proudly turned to the others, before giving us a slow-motion blink.
Sometimes, children can find it difficult to stay balanced in class. I try to alleviate the pressure of their performance by always praising effort first. Recently, one usually cheerful student cried during class, and sensing her discomfort, I continued teaching before quietly sliding her some tissues. At the end, she apologised and seemed to know what had caused the outburst. “I didn’t have my Vitamin C this weekend.”
This week, I was observed by a fellow teacher. During one part of our space-themed lesson, I asked the class to count the sounds to sort various cards into the numbered spaceships. Each item was described for its purpose, for example, “Oh! We will need somewhere to s-l-ee-p. Yes, a bed!” One of the newer pupils looked confused, before complaining that the bed was far too small. Instead of explaining it was a picture and attempting to convey scale, I merely got out my invisible shrinking ray gun and zapped the child. As we lined up at the end of the lesson, the same child poked my belly and said, “Big tummy!” It’s all relative, I suppose.
I avoid making any solid promises as a teacher, but I am ashamed to admit that I occasionally will ask a child to pinkie promise to do their homework. It is sometimes difficult to encourage a five year old to do homework, so I find this a neater incentive to get across my expectations. It has worked on all but one of my students.
I asked my class which animals could be spotted on an African safari. Some answered the usual culprits of lion, tiger, zebra and elephant, whilst some were hoping that rabbits would make an appearance on the ‘big five’ list. I delved deeper and asked which of these had stripes. Of course, many correctly said zebra and tiger. However, one boy shouted out, “A zebra has spots…long spots.” A budding politician in the making.
I taught my class that molten rock was also known as lava, then asked if it was hot or cold. One student, who I knew had a keen interest in volcanoes, said that if you touched lava you would melt like an ice cream and die. But then, you would go to heaven…where you can eat ice cream. I feel I failed my class on teaching them how to safely approach a volcano.
As a teacher, it is important to know the loo lingo. In Asia, children are encouraged to say ‘Pizureen’ which translates to the rather crude ‘pass urine.’ I am lucky to have experienced only three toilet dramas so far. One happened in my very first week as we lined up to leave, and the poor boy suddenly covered himself with his bag. The second incident also happened right at the end of class, but this young chap stared vacantly ahead as he went, before sploshing his bare feet in the newly made puddle much to the horror of the rest of us. The final event was more dramatic though. One girl shrieked, “Oh no!” before announcing to the class that she had, in fact, ‘passed motion.’ As she entered the class the following week, far from being embarrassed as her mother had feared, she squealed, “I’m a poop monster!”
In the eye of the beholder
On reading the word ‘cute,’ I asked the class what could be described using this word. I heard the usual kittens, puppies and bunnies, but one girl said ‘babies.’ She then elaborated on this, by saying only very chubby ones are cute. I recall the same student had boasted that her daddy was very strong, but then at the end of the lesson she corrected herself and explained he was actually very fat.
Many teachers find marking a chore, but I enjoy it for all the endless one-liners it provides. From the massive joy of being ‘on nine clouds,’ to the student who forgot the word ‘van’ and improvised with ‘veg. car.’ One student, who had almost cracked similes, wrote, ‘Her hair was as fresh as apples in a refrigerator.’
I will leave you with some more gems:
Until next time!