Lego Up There

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Bizarre/Silly, Children

(I am covering for a sick teacher. I normally teach special-ed but she teaches grade one. As I’m sitting at my desk, a kid shuffles over to me.)

Kid: “Mrs. [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes?”

Kid: “I have a Lego stuck up my nose. Can you help me?”

Me: *startled* “Why did you put a Lego up your nose?”

Kid: “I wanted to see if it fit!”

(We’ve had problems at this school where parents freak out if we touch their kids so we aren’t allowed to even let them sit on our laps. Keep in mind, kids in grade one are six to seven years old, and they’re kind of touchy-feely so it’s quite a task. We can’t touch them but have to be careful to make sure they aren’t upset about it. I had to verbally guide the kid on how to get the Lego out of his nose. Luckily, he got it out before I had to call paramedics.)

The Teacher Forgot All Your Birthdays

| Lithuania | Bad Behavior, Children, Teachers

(I am in first grade. I am very excited to start learning but, honestly, I am not the brightest kid. On our first day, our teacher lines us all up by height and tells us each to say our name and then say our birthday. I am a bit was scared when it was my turn to say it.)

Teacher: “And when is your birthday?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

(This seemed to anger the teacher even further as a few previous kids didn’t know their birthdays either. She stood all the kids who didn’t know their birthdays in a separate line and started to shout at us.)

Teacher: “How can you all not even know your own birthday?! Now, I want you all to go home tonight and write your birthday on a sign and hang it around your neck and come to school with it, understand?! Not one of you dare come without it!”

(I was terrified since I couldn’t think of a way to make a sign myself and was almost in tears. Another girl was unfazed, though, and just told me she wasn’t going to make one, but I honestly believed what the teacher was shouting. When my mom picked me up I didn’t tell her anything since I was too embarrassed to tell her and only had one thing to ask.)

Me: “Mom, when is my birthday?”

Mom: “Oh, it’s [Date].”

(The next day no one showed up with any signs around their neck and the teacher seemed to have forgotten the incident all together.)

Stubborn As An Ox

| CT, USA | Exams/Tests, Language & Words, Teachers

(In elementary school, we are sorted into reading groups according to how well we can read. I am in the most advanced group with about four other students. One day, my group is given a worksheet on plurals of words. We’re supposed to work on it as a group.)

Classmate #1: *quietly* “[My Name], what’s this one?” *points to the word ‘ox’*

Me: “Oxen.”

(I’d played one of the Oregon Trail games before, so I’d run into the word already. The rest of the group trusts my answer, so everyone writes down ‘oxen.’ We finish the worksheet, and a day or two later it gets handed back. The only answer everyone got wrong was oxen.)

Me: “[Teacher]!” *the teacher walks over to my group* “Why’d you mark this wrong?”

Teacher: “Because it’s wrong. The plural of ox is ox.”

Me: *ten-year-old me is not happy with being told she’s wrong* “No, it’s oxen. It says so in Oregon Trail.”

Teacher: “Well, your game is wrong. The plural of ox is ox.”

Me: *pointing at the bookshelf where a dictionary is kept* “Nuh-uh! It’s oxen! You can check!”

(The teacher did check and changed our grades on the worksheet, but I was never offered an apology and there was a bit of tension between us for the rest of the year.)

Hotdogs Are All

| USA | Children, Food & Drink

(I’m mentoring a little kid at our town’s elementary school. On the first day we meet our kids, we are supposed to ask a few questions about what they like. The kid I’m mentoring is around five years old.)

Me: “So what kinds of things do you like?”

Kid: “I like hotdogs…”

Me: “Anything else?”

Kid: “Nope, just hotdogs.”

A Burning Pair Of Mittens

| The Netherlands | Children

(I am doing my last internship at a special needs elementary school, where I manage to get my first ‘burn.’ I still remember it years later. The student is around ten years old.)

Me: “Oh, hello, [Student], how are you doing? I see you have a new pair of mittens.”

Student: “Yes, they are new! They are so pretty!”

Me: “Well, they are indeed very pretty. In fact, they are so pretty, that I might take them myself!” *obviously joking-tone* “So, if you miss them after class, I might have taken them!”

Student: “Nu-uh.”

Me: “Oh, I won’t take them?”

Student: “Of course not! You won’t fit them, so why would you?”

(Dumbfounded, I had no idea what to reply as the student walked into the classroom, oblivious that she just outsmarted the teacher(-to be) big time.)

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