Saturday, March 14, 2009

Teacher Tales

Every teacher has a special cache of stories that they pull out at parties (you know you do). Kids say and do some crazy things and honestly some of them are to good not to share. I was reminded of a classic story yesterday at at meeting when someone mentioned this student's name. Of course I'm not going to reveal any names, or even gender, but honestly how could this not make you love kids......

In my very first year of teaching I had a student who was a particular project of mine. I really wanted X to feel confident in their ability, and to learn to love school as much as I did (remember this was my first year, I was a bit delusional). X has a severe learning disability and was functioning far below the rest of the class, but still we slogged through it. Then one fateful day our entire team took a field trip to the local history museum. The docent who was working my group that day was a tiny old women who looked like she didn't know quite what to think about my students but she bravely carried on taking us through the history of the state. Periodically she would stop and ask the students questions and every time this ran through my head "please don't call on X please don't call on X". Before you think I'm a horrible person you must understand that this student would often answer volunteer to answer questions in class, and was called on frequently, but X's answers very, very rarely related to the question I had asked. "Why no dear, purple is indeed not a factor of 42, but good try."

Anyway back to the museum and the section on farming.

Docent: "Can anyone name one of the state's Cash Crops?"
Johnny: "Tobacco"
Docent: "Excellent, anyone else?"
Alice: "Cotton"
Docent 3: "Yes, about you dear, in the back row, did you have an answer?"
Me (in my head): "Oh dear lord"
Student X: Celery

Yep, celery. I will give X points for understanding that a Crop has to do with something you plant. And bonus points to the docent who, after a moment of stunned silence, recovered well.

It was a great day at the museum, and I'm still laughing about it years later.

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