Pop culture

On rap attention getters.

<Today, we had no internet. Which means the kids who usually zone out on their phones were instead running their mouths like crazy. I decided to make the most of this.>
“Y’all…y’all…baby children…<finally yelling> GUYS!”
<Most students quiet down.>
“Okay, look, fam, this isn’t going to work. I can’t yell all day. So, let’s try a new thing. Y’all know how some elementary teachers have like a thing, where they go, ‘Reeeed Robin’ and all the kids answer ‘Yuuummmmm?’ “
“Miiiiss, nooooooo.”
“Yes, this is where we’re at. But as I was driving to work this morning, I made myself a promise. So let’s see if you can finish our attention getter without me explaining.”
<I clear my throat.>
“Sit down!”
<Clap clap.>
Half the class: “BE HUMBLLLLEEEEE!”
“Yeah, that’s a thing we’re doing now.”

For adults who don’t listen to Kendrick, see below:


On Dr. Seuss consequences.

<I had my students practice STAAR strategies with picture books last week and this was overheard.>
“Aw, MAN, he straight up RATTED on that star-bellied-thingy. I’d cut him.”
“Oh, and look, they’re going to end up friends. Because this is a book for kids.”
“What can I say, man? Sneetches get beaches.”


On amusement at my accessories.

After a few minutes of my students’ giggling for no apparent reason at the very beginning of class, I finally broke down and asked.

“Okay, guys. What’s the deal? Like, I know you’re laughing at me, but why?”
“OOOOOH Miss VanSickle.”
<Louder laughter from everyone.>
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO we won’t tell you.”
“Why not?”
“Because you’re not SLOW, so eventually you’ll realize what we KNOW..”
<Just assume the hysterical laughter is a constant.>
“Why are you rhyming?”
“You have to guess, we won’t tell you just because you say SO.”
“Is it something with the way I talk?”
“That’s beLOW us.”
“How I’m dressed?”
“You’re getting warmer, GOOOO onnnn..”
<I glance down.> “I thought I looked normal today? I’m wearing boot toppers and a nice bracelet and- oh.”
“I hate you guys so much.”


It took like 5 minutes to get them back on track. Apparently, they all talked about it and made the plan to emphasize the “OH” sounds all class while I was greeting students at the door, but couldn’t keep it together.

On my musical preferences. Again.

<Former student calls me to the door, where two more are with him, to ask a very important question.>
“Miss, were you listening to Shots by LMFAO this morning?”
“Immunizations are a very important part of leading a healthy, successful life as an American citizen.”
“Miss, really.”
“You know that’s not what the song’s about.”
<Looking at my favorite of the three.> “Sure it is. D—- knows that, don’t you?”
“Yep. All about vaccines.”
“Oh come on, it lists off shot names.”
“Yeah, so you know which ones to get.”
<sings, in rhythm>”Flu! Chicken pox! Measles! Malaria!”
“Malaria isn’t actually a shot, though…”
“Miss, come on, I’m trying to help you out here.”

On R&J reactions

<After reading and acting out Act III, scene i of Romeo and Juliet, we’re watching the clip of the fight scene from the 1996 film with Leonardo DiCaprio to compare.>

“Heeeeey Romeo, you cute!”
“Guys, come on, focus.”
“How a thirteen year-old get him?”
<A few minutes later, Romeo starts getting the crap beaten out of him.>
“Noooooo, not the cute one!”
“Miss, they’re messing up his face!”

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 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!”

On summoning classmates.

“Miss, where’s Jake from State Farm?”
“I don’t know, I think you chased him off!”
“Jake from State Farm?”
“You know he always be wearin’ that red polo and khakis. And his name’s Jake.”
“Maybe if we sing the jingle, he’ll come.”
“All together, fam, all together!”
“Miss V, can we?”
“Um, okay.”
<Entire class sings.> “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there!”
<Class looks at the door. No one shows up.>
“Maaan, that commercial’s a lie.”