Elementary kids in Brooklyn say the dangedest things

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A New Ladies Man Appears

So the kids finished their math test early and asked if they could make signs for my softball team. Sounded fun to me, so I agreed. The girls wanted to make signs for the female players, and the boys for the boys.

Except for Moussa. He mentioned one of the female players. "So, Mr. Rice, tell me. Does she look . . .nice?" I said yes. "How old is she." I told him she was in her thirties. "THIRTIES? AND SHE CAN STILL PLAY?!?"

"Hey, I'm 32!"

"I thought you were fifty!"

Later he came back to me and asked, "So who's the best looking girl on your team?" I told him they were all beautiful. "Well, do you have any . . .younger?"

"How young?"

"How about nine?"

"Definitely not, Moussa."

"Hm. Fifteen?"

"Still too young for my team."

"OK, fifteen to twenty-five?" That I said we had.

I like the way he thinks.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Sweet Note

My allergies are acting up pretty terribly so I feel like crud today. But then I got a note from Amanda:

to: Mr. Rice
From Amanda!

Best teacher ever!
Feel Better
I love you like
brother [then crossed out]

Friday, September 24, 2010

I rhyme the rhymes well

Moussa asked me if I had a rockstar name. "No," I replied. "But I have a rap name. Sensei Smooth."

So he made this for me.


Ruby snuck up behind me while I was sitting and grabbed my face from behind. She then whispered in my ear, "I want your face. I'm going to rip your head off." She then proceded to return to her seat and finish her math work.

Beat the Heat

The other day I went to pick up my kids from recess. Christian 1 (I have two of them this year) was slow to arrive. When he finally did I realized he was wearing his Transformers lunch box/bag on his head. I didn't get a chance to ask him about it, but I heard him say to a friend "Too hot out here! Gotta cool off somehow!"

Monday, September 20, 2010

Put me in my place

This morning we were talking about our weekends . . .I like to start the day with normal human conversation, helps socialize the kids. One kid went bowling and after he told us about it I told him I'd been bowling that weekend, too, on a date. One girl raised her hand immediately.

"Yes, Glenis?"

"We don't care about your personal life, Mr. Rice."


Friday, September 17, 2010

Good question

Moussa was reading a book that featured both monkeys and gorillas. I could see the wheels turning. He raised his hand. "Mr. Rice, when monkeys grow up, do they become gorillas?"

"No, they're different animals," I replied.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh, My

At the end of the day, some of my girls were talking to my teaching partner. Ruby lets it be known that she wants to be "single the rest of [her] life." That would have been funny enough but Jaylin replied, "Oh, no, I want a man in my house! I don't want to die alone!"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


As we were going down to lunch, Fernando was holding the door for us. (He loves that.) "Mr. Rice," he asks, "do you think I could be the class door monitor?"

"Sure," I reply. We needed one anyway.

"Good, because I'm addicted to doors."

Begun, the Clone Wars Have

In a reprise of their routine yesterday, Ruby and Jaylin tricked me into standing between their desks to read Ruby's story and "caught" me again. As I was trying to free myself, Jaylin said, "I'll take one of his hairs!" and plucked it from my arm. Later, I caught the two examining it and putting it away for safe-keeping.

"A DNA sample!" Ruby said.

"They're going to make an exact replica of you, Mr. Rice," Fernando said.

I wish their writing was this expressive and inventive

Flurry of Activity

Wow, a lot of weirdness happened in a short period of time today. Let's see if I can remember it all.

During the writing lesson I was teaching how writers think about times they felt an emotion strongly as ways to think of stories to write. I gave an example of how happy I was when my softball team finally won their first game. Seeing as I wanted them to come up with two ideas per emotion, I mentioned being very happy dancing at a friend's wedding. After instruction was over and the kids were about to go back to their seats, Ruby raises her hand. "Mr. Rice, if we write all period quietly, will you show us some of your dance moves?"

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tug of War

Today as I was walking by during a math lesson Ruby grabbed my hand. "I'm not letting go," she informed me. "Ever. You'll have to go home with me too."

Then her neighbor, Jaylin, grabbed my other hand. We sat and did the math work together. It's a far cry from my fifth graders last year pretending not to see me. ADORABLE IS WHAT IT IS!

He's still got it.

So I was going to pick up my lunch and lo and behold I see my old class from the past two years in science. I drop in to say "Hello." Then I proceed to talk to the teacher how that class is a bunch of jerks, teasing them as per my custom.

Then Savior says, "And behold," and, geturing at me, "the Grand Jerk."

I gave him a high five for that one.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And the cycle begins anew . . .

The 2010-2011 school year has begun today. I have a new class and a new teaching partner. I've moved back down a grade, to 4th. I loved my kids last year, but 5th is an age group I'd sooner avoid. You may have noticed fewer posts as the year went on . . .I had to spend too much time maintaining order in the chaotic world of pre-pubescent awakening.

So my new class is younger and far more innocent (so far at least). In fact, they seem kind of immature. It's only the first day, of course, so things will improve. It's just quite a leap.

But never fear, even with only part of the class showing up (the New York Department of Education had the brilliant idea of starting school the day before a two-day holiday/four-day weekend), I've already run into some characters. Emily is an adorable go-getter, very bright and very willing to answer questions. She's been the first, so far, to get my jokes. Isaiah is going to be a funny one, I can tell.

And then there's Roland. Very smart, honestly, kind of a nerdy kid. For example, I was doing a read aloud from the book NERDS, about nerdy kids who are secretly special agents. In the prologue you meet the adult spy, a sort of American James Bond, who was recently sidelined do to "the accident." A cane is in his lap. I asked for ideas on what that was about and answers were mostly things like "Maybe he fell down the steps," or "He might have twisted his ankle." That wasn't good enough for good old Roland. His theory?

"Perhaps an enemy constructed some sort of device that crippled his leg."

I like him already.