I taught elementary school for 3 1/2 years. That alone may not be funny, but it sure inflates the funny story file. I was not cut out for that job, it turns out. One day as I was shaking some Tums out of a giant bottle in my desk into my hand, one of my angels piped up and said, “Mrs. Smith? Why do you always eat those things when you’re with us?” With no hesitation, I answered, “Honey, the answer’s in the question.”
I loved those babies, I really did. I was also thankful to find my surprise niche – middle school. I mean, who goes there on purpose?!
You do lose some stuff being up with the sullen and sarcastic. For instance, in my short stint in the first grade, we had a mult-tasking day one day. Field day was coming up, so I had parents outside on the sidewalk with some kids painting t-shirts, my assistant was just finishing up doing sight words with some, and the rest were working on a reading comprehension page. In the first grade, that meant a 3 or 4 line story at the top, then questions they could answer in a word or two, taken directly from the story.
This story was entitled “The Whale.” It started, “A whale is a large sea mammal…..” The first question was, “Name a large sea mammal,” and then just enough space for them to write in their clumsy first grade handwriting, “A whale.”
One girl was sitting and staring into space. I came up behind her as my assistant swooped in from the front and rapped on her desk to get her to work. The little girl just looked at her. My tired co-worker sighed and said, “It SAYS, ‘Name a large sea mammal.'”
The little girl never looked at the paper. Still looking at the teacher, she said, “I know what it says, but I can’t spell Emily.”
My friend looked at me, dumbfounded. Then it hit me, and I said, “Mrs. S, it says ‘name a large sea mammal.’ She’s naming her Emily.”
I waited. When I saw the realization hit her, I immediately turned and walked right out of the classroom. I’m sure the parents out there were worried about their children when they saw their hysterical teacher having a fit on the sidewalk…..