Elementary kids in Brooklyn say the dangedest things

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good to be back

Last week? Don't even ask. I think seasonal depression turned the entire class into my own personal nightmare. But today they are back and they are on.

While going over a social studies test, Kevin said, "Mr. Rice, I bet you were born in Europe. That's why everyone immigrated away."

Then Savior, who had gone to the nurse after falling out of his chair and hitting his head, saw that I had thrown away his pass back from the nurse. "Hey! Why'd you throw that out?"

"I don't need it anymore."

"But it's my declaration! Of . . .independence . . .from the headbang!"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Unexpected duties

Being an elementary school teacher often involves you saying or doing things that you never would have predicted. Phrases have flown from my mouth that probably no human ever thought they'd say. They usually start with "Why are you . . ." or "Stop . . ."

But sometimes actual activities are unexpected. I had just dropped my class off at lunch and was walking back to my room. A fourth grader in a friend's class was stumbling by, arms full of coats, lunch, books, etc. "MR. RICE!" he called as he stopped near me.


"Pull up my pants!"

"Wait, what?" I heard him clearly but just didn't know how to process the information.

"Please pull up my pants, they're falling!" Sure enough, they were down past his rear. So, him doubled over and desperate, arms full of materials, I had to reach around and pull up the poor kid's pants. Another teacher popped into the hallway and just burst out laughing.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year

I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. I got some welcome time off and mostly spent it with family. By the end, I had actually come to . . .shiver . . .miss my little dorks. I don't know if that's ever happened before. Well, today they pretty much earned it.

For instance, I was doing a lesson on fractions. "Kevin here is one fifth of the Cheetahs team," I said as an illustration. "He is also--"

"Better than you," he interrupted perfectly. Not much I could say to that one.

Later, I was asking for volunteers to draw out a problem on the white board. Chris volunteered and made a minor mistake that I pointed out. He corrected it. "This is the sort of thing I want you guys to be doing on the class work today," said, meaning the problem he was doing.

"What, making mistakes?" Chris asked.

And during lunch, some of the kids were again eating with me. Cheyenne and Nayelyn were discussing the various cultures in their family, and I told them mine. I went on to say how I like it when various cultures come together and make interesting mixes. Seemingly out of nowhere, Nayelyn asked, "Are you an only child?"

"Uh, yeah," I replied.

"That's probably why you're so interested in other cultures."

This is one of the single most insightful, astute things anyone has ever said about me. God bless her.