Month: October 2016

On polite insults

<Student asks a very obvious question.>
“You’re not smart.”
“That’s rude!”
“Yeah, let’s not insult each other.”
“Or at least do it politely.”
“That was polite, at least I didn’t call you stupid.”
“No, a polite way to insult me would be to say, ‘You’re not the sharpest spoon in the drawer.'”
“I’m sorry, Miss.”


On accurate descriptions

<Students are trying to select words that best describe a character in a book, based on a passage that reveals her racist tendencies.>

“Miss, the best answer isn’t up there.”
“What does it need to say, then?”
“Helen’s going to build a wall between the mansion and the apartment above the garage.”

On style differences.

“Why are you wet?”
“It was raining, Miss.”
“Why didn’t you wear a waterproof jacket?”
<I pull out my yellow and black paisley raincoat.>
“Like this one.”
“I don’t have one.”
“You want mine?”
<Gives me a weird look.>”No, Miss, I don’t wear THAT brand.”
“Oh, okay, what brand are YOU wearing?”
“Walmart, and today, I’m proud of it. They don’t make them all weird like that.”

On Constitutional rights

“Um, why are you holding that chair in your lap.”
“This is America, Miss.”
“That’s your answer?”
“I’m exercising my constitutional right.”
“To hold a chair in your lap.”
“Don’t judge how I choose to celebrate my rights, Miss.”

On how books apply to real life.

<We’re reading Last Summer of the Death Warriors.>
“So, do we think that DQ’s mom is a good mom?”
<Class gives assorted answers.>
“Not even.”
“Okay, so we mostly think she’s a bad mom. Does this make her a believable character?”
<General murmurs of agreement.>
“You know those people, Miss, those people, who be like, ‘Oh, I don’t really like you until I want to put you up on my Snapchat.’ She one of those. She left him when she didn’t need him, but now she all up on Facebook like, oooo, y’all, my baby’s sick! Feel bad for me!'”

On proof of love.

<Teaching life lessons while reading…>

“Should you ever ask anyone to prove their love to you?”
<Most of class> “NO!”
<One kid> “YES!”
“Um, no.”
“Okay, but only if you’re really hungry and you want your mom to make you a sandwich.”

On tech math

<First, I have to point out that this was a beginning English learner, which makes the joke more impressive – but it’s still a corny teacher joke, anyway.>

“Miss, I have iPhone eleven.”
“That’s not a real thing.”
“Yes, look!” <Pulls out two phones.> “6 plus five!”