WHEN I was teaching a Grade 1 class, Billy's tooth just
popped out. He was examining it in wonderment when Joan turned around to tell him all
about the tooth fairy: how she put her tooth under her pillow when she went to bed, and
when she woke in the morning, the tooth was gone, a shiny quarter in its place. Billy put
his tooth in his pocket thoughtfully. When it was time to go home, Billy walked over to
Joan, handed her the tooth and said, "You can put my tooth under your pillow and
bring me the money on Monday."
WHILE on recess duty at the elementary school where I teach,
I was talking with several second-graders about what they wanted to be when they grew up.
Rhonda said that she was planning to be a nun. "But, Rhonda," I protested,
"last week you said you were going to be prime minister." Giving me her most
withering look, she retorted, "I can have two jobs if I want to."
AS A music instructor, I work with many classroom teachers.
One day I entered a Grade 2 class and began my lesson. Out of the corner of
my eye I saw the teacher take out a bright-red lipstick and, very deliberately, apply an
enormous amount to her lips. How unlike her, I thought. When the bell rang and
I said good-by to an exceptionally well behaved group of seven-year-olds, the teacher
said, "Class, I am sure Mrs. Johnson thinks that I was acting very strange today.
Who would like to explain?" One boy spoke right up: "Mrs. King said
that if anybody misbehaved today, she was going to give them a big kiss."
WHILE taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary
school, I was interrupted by a little girl about six years old. Looking up and down at my
uniform, she asked, "Are you a cop?" "Yes," I answered, and continued
writing the report. "My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is
that right?" "Yes, that's right," I told her. "Well, then," she
said as she extended her foot toward me, "would you please tie my shoe?"
SEVERAL years ago, while teaching a Grade 1 class, I had one
exceptionally bright but talkative student. To discipline him, I kept him after
school one day and had him print ten lines of "I must not talk out loud during
class." When he handed in his paper, he had added another line: "This is a
I WAS trying to prepare my Grade VI students in our Montreal
area school for the annual Christmas concert. They were to sing "Joy to the
World" in the final act - the Nativity scene. We had been rehearsing for some
time, and things were not going well, so I thought a short break would be in order.
To relax them I put on a Christmas recording of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing
"Joy to the World." As it began, one of the boys looked up and in a
delighted voice exclaimed, "You taped us!"
WAS going through an exercise with my class on the
formation of plurals. The answers were pretty routine until I came to the word
tomato. "Can anyone tell me the plural of tomato?" I asked. One student's
hand shot up. "Catsup!" he announced proudly.
ONE morning as I was teaching a Grade II class, Andy arrived
at school in an excited mood. His family had just acquired a new dog, and he was bubbling
over in his description of their new pet. "What colour is your dog?" I asked.
Without hesitation he answered, "Pitch white!"
ONE of the most pressure-filled moments for any student or
teacher comes each time report cards are issued. Having spent many hours filling in marks
and trying to comment accurately on each student's performance, I distributed the reports
to an anxious Grade 7 class. There was the usual hush as they pored over the contents of
their reports. One by one, they gathered up their belongings and braced themselves for a
confrontation with parents when they arrived home. One student, however, was especially
concerned. He approached me after the others had left, asking if I couldn't add a few more
comments to soften the blow. Forgetting exactly what I had written about his "general
behavior," I took his report and read aloud: "I am very excited about the
improvement Corey has shown in many areas. His positive attitude and effort are a delight.
Keep up the good work, Corey!" Amazed that the boy was worried about taking home such
a report, I asked, "What more could you want?" His face lit up as he asked,
"Could you add that?"
ON HER first day of teaching, a young woman was introducing
herself to her Grade I class, telling the children she hoped they'd all soon get to know
each other better. As she spoke, she backed up against the blackboard map, which
rolled up like a window shade and pulled her skirt clear up past her waist. The
class was very quiet as she struggled to get her skirt down again. Then one little
boy broke the silence by saying, in a loud voice, "We know you better already."
I AM a teacher, and on my birthday I brought candy to school
for my pupils. When a small boy came up and asked how old I was, I replied jokingly,
"Oh, very old. About a hundred!" "Told you so," said
another student standing next to him.
MY CLASSROOM was on the third floor of a beautiful old building with a banistered
staircase in the centre. After the umpteenth warning, one of my students arrived late for
class with no pencil or paper. I sent him to the principal's first floor office, noting
his departure time on his hall pass. When he got back, I noticed it had taken him one
minute to check in at the office, but three minutes to return. Asked for an explanation,
the student looked at me incredulously and replied, "Well, you can't slide
EXCITEMENT mounted high among our elementary school students when they began doing
their gym exercises to music. During a demonstration, however, the teacher sprained his
ankle, and subsequently he received an accident report form to complete. In response to
the question: "Time of accident?" he wrote: "4/4."
As A school principal I often watch the younger pupils play. On one occasion some
children were playing school when a younger child joined them. One of the more out spoken
tots turned to him and said, "You can't play school, you can't read or write. I'll
tell you what you be the principal.
WHEN my grandson was asked by his father, my son Frank, if he had any homework one
evening, he replied, "No. But I do have to write fifty lines, because when I missed
school last week, I forgot to take a note." "That was my fault," said
Frank. "I didn't give you a note." He then sat down and painstakingly wrote
fifty times: "I will not forget to give Sean a note whenever he's absent." The
teacher returned it to my son with a notation: "Well done. I love it."
WHILE my Grade 3 class was completing a writing exercise, one of the students asked me
how to spell "piranha." I told him I was unsure. To my delight, he went to the
dictionary to solve his problem. That's when another pupil said to him, "Why bother
to look it up? She doesn't know how to spell it anyway."
I RECEIVED the following answer on a Grade VI test that dealt with Canadian government:
Canada's Parliament consists of two houses, Senate and House of Comment.
ONE morning, as I was greeting my Grade 1 class, a little girl ran up to me saying,
"You don't recognize me, do you?" "No," I replied, wondering what was
coming next. "I didn't think so," she said. "I have a new lunch box
The teacher asked her students to use the word "fascinate" in a sentence.
Mary said, "My family went to the New York City Zoo, and we saw all the animals. It
was fascinating." The teacher said, "That was good, but I wanted the word
"fascinate." Sally raised her hand. She said, "My family went to the
Philadelphia Zoo and saw the animals. I was Fascinated." The teacher said,
"good, but I wanted the word "fascinate." Little Billy raised his hand. The
teacher hesitated because Billy was noted for his bad language. She finally decided there
was no way he could damage the word "fascinate" so she called on him. Billy
said, "My sister has a sweater with 10 buttons, but her boobs are so big she can only
A BOY in my Grade 2 class came to me and said, "I ain't got no pencils."
Hoping he would correct himself, I asked, "You what?" "I don't got no
pencils." "You don't what?" "I don't have no pencils." "You
don't have what?" "I don't have any pencils," he finally replied. Then he
added, "And I ain't got no eraser either.