Teaching children always lands you in interesting waters. Work is never boring, and I get my fair share of chuckles every day. I can honestly say that the students I teach are all good kids, and even when I’m tired and not feeling my best, they make it easy to do my job.
So here is a little collection of some of the things that my students have said (or written) over the past little while that gave me a laugh.
There’s one boy I teach that is really communicative, and loves to try having conversations. He’s only five years old, so sometimes our talks take interesting turns, but regardless he remains enthusiastic and ready to chat.
Note that “R” is using his own name instead of “my”, and K is indeed his younger brother.
R: K is R’s baby!
Me: K is R’s baby brother, right?
R: NO! K IS R’S BABY!
Me: K is your baby?
R: YES. (Pauses for a few moments) K is tree.
Me: K is a tree?
R: Yay! (Breaks into fits of laughter)
With the younger classes I often do a colour game as a warm up. To get everyone talking, after they guess what colour I have hidden, I ask them what things are that colour.
Whenever white comes up, my name often gets called. Yes, I am pasty white. When we do yellow, someone usually says something about my hair. However, this response threw me for a bit of a loop.
Me: Okay girls, what’s yellow?
R: Adrienne’s eyes!
Me: My eyes are yellow?
Me: Aren’t they brown?
R: (pauses to think) Yellow-brown.
I had a cold for about two weeks in February, and the first week was definitely roughest. I really couldn’t speak much, and was stuck with a lovely crackly, raspy, man-voice. Two mornings a week I teach a classes that consist mainly of older adults. One of the ladies said I sounded like a man, while the gentlemen said it was a “husky voice”. But of course the best comments were from the kids. All week I had younger kids asking me what happened to my voice, and older kids asking if I had caught a cold.
Then I had this gem. “R” is the same girl from the story above.
R: You’re an old lady!
A: She’s not old! She’s not even thirty!!
Me: Thank you!
Y: MY MOM IS 38!
I’m not really sure what Y’s mother’s age had to do with the conversation, but that sparked all the students shouting out their mother’s ages. Pretty sure mom wouldn’t be happy to hear that one!
While we’re on the topic of ages, we usually warm up in the younger classes by asking everyone’s name, and how old they are. The kids go around in a circle asking each other, but I usually start and give an example just as a reminder. Last week one boy (who has the best laugh in the whole world) asked me about my age, as well as a few other cute questions.
Me: I’m twenty-seven. How old are you?
K: [Is twenty-seven] young?
Me: OF COURSE!
(Later during class)
K: Do you have a mother?
K: (Surprised) YOU DO?
Me: Yes, of course!
K: Where is she?
Me: She lives in Canada.
K: Oh. Do you sleep here?
Me: Here at school? No, I live in an apartment.
Me: Near the fire station.
I often see the boy from the story above and his sister when I’m walking back to work from my lunch break, and they’re getting off the bus from school. They always say hi, and he always asks where I’m going or what I’m doing.
It’s not uncommon for kids to ask about your family, and a lot of them are surprised to learn that you really do have a mother and father. This next conversation happened a few months ago, and the question really came out of no where. It was totally random, and I wasn’t expecting it at all.
R: Do you have a twin?
Me: No, I don’t.
R: (Sadly) Me either.
Me: But you have N [her brother]!
R: (Sighs) Yeah, but he’s not my twin.
She seemed so saddened by the fact that she didn’t have a twin, but at least she is fond of her big brother.
A few lessons ago in my “returnee’s” class we had a quiz to confirm whether or not the students did the assigned reading homework. It was a True or False quiz, where if it was false, they had to correct the statement to make it true. This is one of the answers I got, which I’m still baffled by.
Before I wrap this up, I have two more favourites both revolving around Christmas. The conversations are with the same girl, but different years. Santa always comes to our Christmas event to hand out presents to the kids, and this past year we rented our a restaurant and had lunch there, then had Santa come.
R: Who’s Santa?
Me: Santa Claus? He comes at Christmas. He gave you a present.
R: In the red suit?
R: Is he your friend?
Me: … Yes.
R: Oh, okay!
(At the restaurant, while we’re eating…)
R: Who pays?
Me: [Boss] pays.
Me: I don’t know…
R: Is it because he’s a boy?
Me: Yes. It’s because he’s a boy.
R: My daddy always pays.
There aren’t too many occasions when kids say something they really shouldn’t be saying. However, last weekend I had one boy tell his classmate to “go to hell”. Did not see that one coming, and I haven’t the slightest idea where he learned it from. He’s also not the first student to say it recently, so it’s beginning to make me wonder where they’re getting it.
About a year ago I had a boy who I’m pretty sure tried to shock me with the “dirty” English that he had learned. Unfortunately, he kind of messed it up. He kept saying, “cupid hair, cupid hair”. I assume he meant “pubic hair”, because he was giggling the whole time, and told me it was “hair down there”. I just let him keep on thinking it was “cupid hair”.
If you have your own stories of things your kids or students said that made you laugh, please share!
Level checks are coming up soon, so I’m hoping to get a few more good quotes. Kids like to show off their skills during their level check, so something interesting always comes out.