From Dec. 12, 2007
Today, a water main in front of the school busted (as it does every year about this time) and our principal informed us that around two o'clock we would no longer have running water. This is a major sanitation issue at an elementary school that I’m quite sure the health department would frown on. He told us to tell our students to use the restroom before that time to help alleviate the unavoidable mess that would follow. I did not do this, thinking that a few rancid toilets may lead administrators to consider sending kids (and thereby yours truly) home the next time such a problem occurred. One of our second grade teachers did, however, make the requested announcement to her class.
A few minutes later, a girl blurted out, “Mrs. H.! Look what Leonard wrote!” Mrs. H. walked over and followed the pointing finger of the girl. There, on Leonard’s desk, lay a note on which he had written “1:30–POOP.”
Pretty good planning for a second grader.
From November 29, 2006
So today I was teaching about the Pueblo Indians and a vocabulary word for the lesson was “elders.” To teach the word I used the following example: “When someone tells you to listen to your elders, what they mean is that you should listen to the adults in your life.”
Richard, a rambunctious boy who spends most days doing little but talking, blurted out, “I never listen to my elders!” I responded with typical sarcasm, “Really, I’m shocked to hear that, Richard.” He looked at me quizzically and I added, “That’s called sarcasm, Richard. Do you guys know what sarcasm is?”
Autumn, one of the brightest girls in the class jumped in. “Yeah, it’s when you say something, but you mean the opposite, like ‘Hey Mr. Murphy, you look great today.’” Then she smiled real big.
I laughed and told her that was a pretty good one. Sometimes, it’s the teacher who learns the lesson.
From September 7, 2006
Richard and his teacher, Mrs. B., were swinging next to each other on the swingset. Mrs. B. is about 6 months pregnant, so she wasn’t going very high. This drew a comment from the third grader, and she explained that she had to take it easy on her belly. The boy responded, “I love to swing high. It makes my private area tingle.”