Kid and I are researching quotes for his paper about community action, and we come across a good quote by Nelson Mandela.
Me: “Ohhh, that’s a perfect one to use. Do you know who Nelson Mandela is?”
Kid: “Yeah of course.”
Me: “Oh, I’m impressed. I wouldn’t necessarily think a kid your age would know about him.”
Kid: “Well, my dad listens to his music all the time.”
Me: “Ummm…his music? Nelson Mandela was not a musician, as far as I know…”
Kid: “Yes, he’s a country singer!”
Me: “I think you’re thinking of someone else…”
Kid: “You know, (singing) ‘On the road again, Just can’t wait to get on the road again….'”
Me: “Oh, honey, no. That’s Willie Nelson. Not Nelson Mandela. They are two very VERY different people. Nelson Mandela ended apartheid in South Africa.”
Kid (pondering): “Ok but otherwise they’re pretty much the same.”
I had a kid fill out a math assessment for homework. There was some new content in it, so I told her if she really didn’t know how to answer a question, just write “no idea” underneath, and I’d help her in the next session.
So in the next session, I taught her the strategy she needed to use to answer the “no idea” question. Once she had a firm grip on the strategy, I said, with optimistic enthusiasm, “Ok, so let’s go back to that question where you wrote ‘no idea’ and see if we can change that answer!”
So she changed it.
Because come on that’s fucking hilarious.
I’m not gonna lie, I almost miss this.
Kid: “Wow! You’re the smartest adult I know!”
Me: “How many adults do you know?”
Kid: “Like, 2.”
Just now on the street…
“Dayuuuuuum Miss Emily! I knew you was young when you was my teacher, but you look even more young now. What you, like, 21? Look like you aging backward!”
— Former Kindergarten student, now a completely inappropriate 14-year-old punk with terrible grammar.
And my new favorite person.
This kid does NOT enjoy learning math with me…
Kid: “This is SO BORING!!!”
Me: “Well, I’m sorry you think so. But sometimes life is boring.”
Kid: (screaming in dramatic agony) “BUT THAT’S TERRIBLE AND I HATE IT AND IT’S NO FAIR!!!”
Me: “I agree. Life isn’t fair. But do you see ME screaming my head off and wailing about it? No, you do not.”
Because I do that at home, alone, into a pillow.
Me: (after listing all the ingredients I’d like in my salad) “And then I’ll also have some avocado, chopped up in the salad please.”
Guy: “Do you want just the avocado chopped, or the whole salad chopped?”
Me: “The whole salad. With the avocado in it.”
Guy: (blank stare)
Me: “Like…put the avocado in first, then chop the whole salad up. Together. With the avocado in it.”
Guy: “Ahhhh got it, got it, got it.
(I walk away to pick up some protein bars, then return)
Guy: “Here ya go– one salad, chopped up with avocado!”
This is literally why I quit teaching.
Just ran into a school parent while running in the park.
Parent: “So I heard a rumor you left the school? And classroom teaching completely?”
Me: “Yeah, the rumor is true.”
Parent: “Good for you! I knew you were done. Every time I saw you this year, I could just see it on your face.”
No I’m pretty sure that’s just my face.
That moment when a parent who gave you hell for 4 years of your teaching career somehow tracks down your phone number and calls you to say that she is sorry for everything she put you through, and she acknowledges the role she played in her children’s in-school difficulties, and she says that she heard that you are leaving the teaching profession so she didn’t want you to depart without knowing that truly, deeply, she really does appreciate everything you did for her and her two sons over the years, thus providing you with the perfect feeling of satisfied closure as you end your classroom career.
That didn’t actually happen.
I’m just saying. It’d be nice.
Instead I just walked by said parent getting drunk and smoking cigs at a neighborhood bar.
Wonder where the kids are.
“I’m cutting off your work email account at 5pm on Friday.”
— my Assistant Principal, to me, as he hugged me goodbye for the last time.