Teaching is perhaps the craziest profession in the world. All jobs have bosses, co-workers, competition to deal with. But what other job has dozens of personalities that change every year?
And what personalities they are! In my first full-time classroom – third grade – on the very first day of school, I looked out over their shining faces and intoned, “Okay now, take a seat!” One of the little guys, a rock-solid, crew-cutted, blue-eyed spitfire, grabbed a desk, heaved it upward, and shouted, “WHERE?!” It was a very good sign of what I was in for.
In one of my last third grade classrooms, in the hustle-bustle of the first-of-the-day activities, one of my little boys said brightly, “Miss (in Mississippi, we’re ALL Miss) Smith, I know what ‘ob-gyn’ stands for.” I did a quick mental check – nobody in family in medical field. Nobody pregnant. So I bit: “Really, what?” Straightfaced: “‘Oh Boy, Got Ya Naked!'”
In my first sixth grade language arts classroom, on the first day of school, at the end of the period, I asked if anyone had any questions or comments. One fellow in the center back raised his hand eagerly. When I called on him, he said proudly, “I broke my own nose!” It’s not often I’m rendered speechless. I muttered some partial statements that sounded enough like questions that he explained: He had been holding his nose between thumb and finger and twisting it from side to side, enjoying the popping noise the cartilage was making when he got a little over-exuberant and, well…. POP! Ew.
A year or two later, one of my sixth graders had the unfortunate name of Devell, accent quite incorrectly on the second syllable. I had the classes seated in groups of four that year. One day at the front of the room, as I was doing the teacher neck thing (stretch it out and survey the land), a student in front of me, in Devell’s group, was doing something weird with his eyes. I frowned and looked closer. He was doing that surreptitious look – wanting me to follow his gaze down into the empty seat next to him. A folded paper was there. He waggled his eyebrows at me and nodded – it was meant for me. I actually found myself looking away and picking it up “on the sly.” I opened it, read it, and won my Teacher Oscar for my lack of reaction: “Devil,” he wrote, “is getting on my nevers.” The spelling may have been incorrect, but it was totally appropriate.

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6 thoughts on “Tickle-Me Tuesday

  1. Loved the one about ob-gyn! One of my favorites from my teaching years was the girl who wrote this for a spelling sentence with the word chatter. “I like chatter cheese.”

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