Gotta Share The Laughs

When people ask what grade I teach in public school, they wince when I tell them Jr. high – 6th & 7th grade.

I understand that reaction; that’s how I respond when someone tells me they teach 1st grade or kindergarten.

But I wouldn’t trade my Jr. High Reading classes in for anything. My wife thinks I fit so well with this age group because I never really matured past that age myself. 🙂 (There are days when I think she may be right!)

I just consider myself truly blessed to still love what I do. I think one of the reasons I enjoy looking forward to coming to work is the amount of laughs I experience with these kids. Some at my expense, and some at theirs.

For example….every Tuesday, I give my students 10 new vocabulary words to write down with definitions. We discuss the words and their meanings, and then afterwards, they are assigned to write out ten sentences using each word correctly, in context, in the sentence. At the end of the week, they have a quiz over the words. So you can imagine the smiles I get when 12 and 13 year old kids are confronted with words whose meanings are new, or unclear to them.

The other day, when going over a practice Reading TAKS test, one of the kids mentioned not knowing the meaning of a word in one of the answers. I told them that was one of the reasons I teach them new vocabulary words every week so they can expand their vocabulary. . . to which another girl raised her hand and said: “Is THAT why you do that?

I just thought we did that so you would have something to do on Tuesdays!”

Do what??????

A few weeks ago, one of the words we had was ‘internal’. Someone quickly saw the connection of that word with ‘internal organs’. I praised them for that observation and then asked if anyone could name some ‘internal organs’.

One students said ‘lungs’. I said “good- any others?” An overly enthusiastic boy raised his hand then pointed at me and proudly blurted out: “Your Uterus!”

I just looked at him with a puzzled look, as did most of the girls in the class. One girls spoke up and quickly informed him that only girls had a uterus. His face took on a confused expression and then meekly asked: “What’s a uterus?”

I guess he was absent that day when the science teacher covered that chapter.

Ever since I started teaching this class, I tell myself at least once a week that I should collect some of the writings these kids turn in for a future book. And while I have not been consistent in doing that, I did start adding to a list some of the more comical items I came across. These are too good not to share. 🙂

The following come from either test answers, or sentences they turned in attempting to use the new vocabulary correctly.

The medicine was bogus, it was really drugs.

The explosion in Paris was fatal, but no one got hurt.

My mom persistently gave up easily.

Diplomatic – ‘dealing with people in a sinful manner’

Windfall – a sudden break of wind

She was death so I had to use hand gestures to talk to her.

And a recent one I got this week – it seems some of the kids were still not clear on how to use the word ‘perceive’.

I think the intent of this one student was to refer to her ‘perceptive abilties’; so she just invented a new word and wrote: I could use my ‘percivities’ to tell if the food was still good or not.

This was a kid I can identify with totally; I’ve never hesitated making up a new word when in a pinch. Just ask my girls, I used to make up words to songs at church all the time when I didn’t know the verse.