Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stories Out Of School

We take a break from New Zealand Reports to bring you two short stories from the Classroom.

I find myself funny when I'm teaching. I need to amuse myself or I'll get bored. Perhaps it works similarly for you in your job. So when I'm done explaining the lesson and I'm checking for understanding I'll ask my students, "Everyone understand?"

"Clear as mud?"

"Y... ," and then that wonderful expression of confusion comes over their faces. Some go so far as to hit me with the full-on quizzical dog head-tilt. (It's almost as good as when I'm taking roll and I say, "Ok, raise your hand if you're absent.")
"Wait a minute...mud's not clear!"

And before I can laugh or move on one will turn to another, "Well, now hold on just one moment. What kind of mud? Has it been raining? Average local precipitation levels would be a factor, don't you think?"
Another replies, "Very good point! Also, is it a large puddle or a small one? That would cause variations in mud density."
"What is the dirt-to-water ratio? That would surely impact the relative opacity of said mud. One would imagine that mud could, in theory, be fairly clear given the correct variables."
I try to intervene, "All right!"

Index fingers stab the air, "Hold on, Mr. Robertson. This is important. So, would you agree with my hypothesis that red dirt would yield a different consistency and, therefor visibility, of mud than, say, beach sand?"
"Without a doubt."
"I see. Well I've conducted a few thought experiments using my smart phone while we've been discussing this, as well as accessing mud-related articles via Google, and I think that the results will be quite surprising to us all."

And this is why a grown adult with a college degree says things like, "Hey! We are now done discussing mud clarity. Get back to work!"

Yesterday I had this conversation with one of my...special kids. We'll call him Toby*.

Me: Why is there ink all over your hands?
Kid: *shrug*
Me: You don't know how ink got all over your hands?
Kid: I don't know when it happened.
Me: Where is your pen?
Kid: Oh yeah, now I remember. My pen leaked on my hands.
Me: ...Where. Is. Your. Pen?
Kid: In my pencil box.
Me: Is it still leaking?
Kid: Not all over the place.
Me: Not all over...is it broken?
Kid: Yes.
Me: Throw it away and go wash your hands.
Kid: Ok. *totters off*
A Few Minutes Later- Child comes back from the bathroom.
Me: Are your hands clean?
Kid: shows me the back of his hands! The side that never had ink on them!!

*his real name is Marcus*

*no its not, I'd get in trouble if I posted his real name online

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