This fall, I embark on a new chapter of my career in education. I am now the Secondary Instructional Coach and Secondary Interventionist at my school. Armed with a summer’s worth of research, I am on a quest to collaborate with teachers to improve student outcomes, and assist students who face struggles with success in school.
Though initially I was concerned about having some kind of identity crisis, I’m actually super pumped about this position and trying something new. It’s just weird not having class lists to worry about, assignments to photocopy, or a syllabus to revise.
I don’t have a classroom anymore, just an office. I haven’t 100% processed my feelings about that, but right now it’s not hitting me in any particular way. I think my biggest “regret” of not having typical classes this year is that I won’t have the opportunity to collect hilarious quotes and stories said by and about my students.
So, for my next few posts, I think I’m going to share some of my all-time favorite classroom moments and quotes. Please unzip the trapper-keeper full of memories and join me.
Goals are Important…
Student looks at an achievement board on my wall and says, “Go Al. Who’s Al?”
Me: “… honey, that says ‘goal’.”
I had a student in my first year at West Middle School in Muscatine who we’ll call “Luigi.” Luigi was a puffy, puppy-faced 7th grader who seemed uninterested and unmotivated at first, but then suddenly started doing 100% hilarious things to get attention from me. He would get up during work time and come over to the Kleenex box near my desk and pretend to sneeze like 20 times. They weren’t loud or obnoxious, just these gentle little pretend sneezes. This would continue until I somehow acknowledged his presence. When this failed to have a lasting affect, Luigi switched tactics. He would get up, again during work time, and sit down with his butt on the trash can like it was a toilet. “Oh, excuse me, I just need to poop.” He would then make fart noises with his mouth and pretend to take a dump in this trash can in a room full of people until he got my attention.
This is real. This actually happened in 2011. YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP.
At Mid-Prairie, I had a student who was always trying to do “cool things” during study hall, again to get attention. He was extremely flexible, but not quite flexible enough to get himself into lotus position, which was his goal (or, as I should say, his Go Al). One day he was practicing and I heard a pained cry. In an attempt to pull his leg up over his thigh, he accidentally kicked himself in a “sensitive area”.
I Don’t Get Paid Enough To Answer this Question
Kid (in the middle of class, raises hand): What does phallic instrument mean?
One day, again at Muscatine, I was walking down to the bathrooms by the gym where the locker rooms were. There, hanging from the spigot, was a pair of orange and purple girls’ underwear. Nobody around, no explanation. I let the custodians know.
One morning a few years ago, I opened my email to read a message from the assistant principal. “Good morning, staff. There is an issue we’d like to bring your attention to. Apparently a good number of the 7th grade boys have a game they call ‘ball-buster Wednesday’ where on Wednesdays, it is a free for all in which boys take every opportunity to slap each other in the genital region. If you see this behavior please end the situation, document, and let the office know.”
I was in the office, and saw a kid go running past and out the front doors. I went out to the foyer and saw his teacher was chasing him. “He escaped!” she cried. So, being much younger and in shape, I started running after him in a skirt and flip flops. I chased him down to the main road. It looked like he was about to get away when suddenly a maroon car pulled over and an old man leaned out the window. “GET IN!” he shouted. I dived into the back seat and they chased the kid down with the car. I hopped out and kind of grabbed his arm, which stopped him. He was getting tired at this point. I told him I would buy him a pop if he came back to the school, and he actually let me bring him back. Whoever the older couple was who was in that car, you were AMAZING that day!
Final Quotes for this Chapter
Kid 1: I can’t draw. Look at this dog. It looks like a medieval cow.
Kid 2: Kinda like your face.
“Well, it’s time to go to gym and kick some balls.”
Can you see why I’m sad that I won’t be around kids as much to overhear this stuff, and witness the perfect comedy of school life? I have about 20 more examples to share with you, so I’ll keep posting every couple of days with more of the precious moments with our nation’s youth.