Themselves

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.>
<Clap.>
“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:

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On mixing fiction and reality.

<Students discussing the end of The Rest of Us Just Live Here in class.>
“Who turns down a healing?”
“I kind of get it, but I would take him up on it.”
“That boy- he needs to whip out the warm oils, turn on some smooth jazz, and tell his friends to heat them hands up and get their glowy selves on me.”
“Y’all are gonna kiiiiiill me.”
“Nah, I got Jared on speed dial. You ain’t gon’ die.”

On non-mistakes.

<I threaten to call one of my favorite students’ moms because he won’t stop bouncing ON (not in) his chair.>
“Man, Miss, don’t! I’ll calm down. I already got sent to the SRO today.”
“WHAT?”
“Stuff happened. I don’t know. It’s fine now, let’s not go there.”
“I get it, mistakes were made…”
“Nah, it wasn’t a mistake, I definitely meant to do it.”

On deciding their futures in the worst way.

“Hey Miss.”
<Student walks up to me in the hall and hands me a note.>
It reads: My dad like the new tree you planted in your front yard and he wants you to email him the name of it. He’s so weird. Don’t tell me, he’s so embarrassing, just email him so he doesn’t like, call you in class.
“That’s not weird, it’s a really cool tree.”
“Miss, just email him. I don’t want to talk about it.”
“DO YOU NOT LIKE MY TREE?”
“See, I TOLD him you were gonna get weird about it!”
“Why aren’t you answering me? My tree isn’t good enough for you?”
“Yes, yes, it’s good enough, what’s it called?”
“A golden rain tree.”
“Why you won’t tell me the truth now?”
“I did – look it up.”
“If I look this up, and it’s not a tree, you have to give me a free 100.”
“Okay, but if you look it up and it IS a tree, and it’s MY tree, then you have to become an arborist so you never make this mistake again.”
“Bet.”
<Looks it up.>
“MAN, MISS! I don’t even know what an arborist is! Do they like, work on arms or boards?”
“Trees.”
“Oh.” <pause> “I’ve got to stop making bets with you…”

On making mistakes.

<I translated this from Spanish>
“Y’all are telling her not to skip, but you guys skipped all the time!”
“Yes, but they learned from their mistakes.”
“Yeah, we learned! I don’t skip anymore!”
“You need to learn!”
“I’m gonna learn from my mistakes, but just not now. Like, later.”

On eternity.

“Miss VanSickle, the next time you talk to God, can you tell him to make sure he lets me into heaven?”
“No, because then I have to deal with you for all eternity.”
“I’m’a move in right next door to you! And then I’m gonna take you to visit all the hermit crabs and hamsters I killed on accident.”
“You’ll be like, doing your thing, and then I—- gon’ pop out of the cloud like, ‘Hey Miiiiiiiiissssss.'”
“No.”
“Yes. I’m gonna move in on the other side, so it’ll be like I—-, then you, then me.”
“And you can’t touch us or you’ll get banished and you’ll have to be nice to us forever!”
“Miss VanSickle’s gonna end up in Hell, y’all.”

On seeing me again

<While filling up at Quiktrip, I ran into a former student.>
“Miss VanSickle!”
“Hey, baby, how are you?”
“I’m good Miss, I’m good. I wasn’t sure it was you, y’know?”
“I know, I look different.”
“I know, I was like, ‘Damn, that girl looks like a younger hotter version of Miss V, and then you turned and I saw your tattoo.”
“Thanks?”
“It’s a compliment.”
“If you have to say it…but even if I’m hotter, why do you think I looked older when I taught you? Because the last time I had you, I was like, 24, and now I’m almost 30.”
“I know where you’re going with this, and I don’t like it.”
“It was your fault.”
“See, I said I didn’t like it…”

On what we have in common.

“Guys, c’mon, STAAR isn’t a race where you need to beat each other, we can all be successful.
<rolls eyes> “Yeah, c’mon guys, we can beat the STAAR *together!*”
“Thanks for that facetiousness.”
“You’re welcome.”
“You right though, Miss, we all come from Harambe.”