On teachers and dirt

<Today, I buried 20 things in two buckets of sand that symbolized an important part of the novel Holes, which my 6th graders are completing a novel study on this week.>
“Miss V———–! We can’t find the last thingy in our bucket!” 
“Okay, what do you have so far?”
<Students inventory 9 things they’ve already dug out of the bucket.>
“Okay, you’re missing the lizard.”
“Calm down, it’s okay, I’ll help.”
<I remove my sweater and kneel down in front of the bucket of dirt.>
“Are you about to dig in the dirt?!?”
“Well, yeah….”
“But…I didn’t think teachers like, touched dirt.”
“How did you think the dirt got in the buckets in the first place?”
<Silence while I dig, elbow deep in a bucket of sand to find the toy lizard.>
<whispering> “That’s how you know she really likes us – she’s getting in the dirt for us.”


My sixth graders are adorable.

On needing a higher dosage

<During a fake Ceremony of Twelve today, the students received “pills” (Altoids) for their “Stirrings.”>
“Miss! The pill isn’t working! I think I need another one!”
“Yeah, Miss, he really does!”
“It’s so bad-it’s so bad.”
“The wanting is real!”


On chapstick and pop culture

<Girl student drops her EOS lip balm on the floor.>
“It’s Pokemon!”
“Pikachu! I choose you!”
“Very funny guys, now someone pick it up.”
<Boy student picks it up and promptly throws it again.>
“Oh, man, I hope Squirtle comes out this time.”
“Nah, I want -” <Student bends to pick it up.> “what’s the name of that dragon one again?”
<I snag it and place it back on the girl student’s desk.>
“Charizard. Now stop.”
“My sister was really into it.”
“Nah, guys, you know she has that chapstick at home and like, plays with them. YOU KNOW SHE DOES.”

On Wishbone

“So, to give you an idea of the pieces of the story before we read them, we’re going to be watching clips of Wishbone-”
“The little dog? White with brown spots?”
“Yes, that’s Wishbone.”
“He’s adorable. I want to like, go to the TV, and pull him out and keep him for my pet.”

On “The Stirrings”

It’s that time of year again, where we read about sexual feelings in The Giver, and my kids dissolve into giggles. Last year was pretty good, but this year’s sound bites were, too.

<reading>”I wanted her to take all her clothes off and get in the tub,’ he explained quickly-”
“Yeeeaaaaaah, get naked!”
“Calm down, now.”
“Miss, he a playa.”
“In his dreams – literally! He’s a literally a playa in his dreams!”
<Giggles galore>

“So, they make them take a pill to make the stirrings go away, right? Why would they do that?”
“Because they don’t like to have any fun.”
“Because they don’t want people to get herpes.”
“Because those dreams are gross.”
“Because the people who made the rules were all women and they don’t like that.”
“Okay, now wait a minute-”
“Miss! Don’t tell us that women like it too, that’s weird!”
“How do you know that’s what I was going to say?”
“BECAUSE. You like to tell us how women are ‘people’ too and just like boys and I can’t handle that today, okay? So just – no.”

“Sooooooo…do you guys tell your parents about dreams where you want your friends to get naked with you over breakfast?”
“Ew, Miss, no!”
“OMG, Miss, I don’t even have dreams like that!”
“Me neither.”
<Awkward silence where half the class avoids others’ eyes.>
<dramatic sigh> “People are gross, Miss.”

On an everyday superhero.

<Student and I walk out of the building toward my portable together. Maintenance men startle us both by hammering on the roof.>
<Student shoves me behind him, away from the noise.>
“Oh, shit, Miss – Batman!”
“Oh – it’s just people.” <yelling> “HEY! YOU GUYS ARE LIKE BATMAN!”
<They wave back. We keep walking.>
“Seriously? Batman? Just because they were on the roof?”
“Well, yeah. He always meets Commissioner Gordon on the roof, so I guess one of them could have been him. What do you think, the short guy?”
“Wait – were you trying to put yourself between us?”
“I was protecting you!”
“From Batman?”
“You’re right, Miss, Real Batman? He totally would have killed me. But it’s the thought that counts, right?”

On spelling quizzes and such

“Number two is ‘October,’ like the month.”
“Nooooo, October.”
“Son la misma, Miss.”
“Noooo, hijole! They’re different! October is spelled with an ‘O’ and Octubre is spelled with a ‘U’!”
“Ummmm, cheat much?”
“What? No, I was just telling this fool the difference!”
“This is a spelling quiz.”
“You tricked me!”
“I was just being annoying! You’re the fool who told the whole class how to spell October!”
“Nuh-uh, I didn’t say that the ‘E’ and the ‘R’ are reversed!”


So many face palms.