When I mention that I teach junior high, people cluck their tongues and offer their sympathy. Or else they tell me that I will receive a special blessing someday. I nod and look down – mostly to hide the twinkle in my eyes. If only they knew. . .
During this first (almost) full week of school, I’ve realized how much I both use and appreciate the humor happening every day in my classroom. Some of this week’s highlights –
- Austin asked if he could switch his days for Art and Study Hall. When I saw the eager look on his face, I said, “You just want to be with your friends, don’t you?” Grinning, he admitted that was his motive. “Then nope,” I replied. “But – but – but,” he protested. “Don’t call me a ‘butt’!” I retorted – and the class roared.
- The students knew the capitals of Germany and Japan, but not Canada. I protested, “Canada’s our next door neighbor!” One student asked, “Are we friends with them?” When I said we were, someone else asked, “On Facebook?”
- We were sharing stories from Fair Day (when we get out of school early to head to the Western Washington State Fair in nearby Puyallup). Taylor said she and a friend were on the Pirate Ship ride when a girl behind them started complaining that she might throw up. Taylor said, “I put my hood over my head and hunched down as far as I could!” (The girl never did throw up.)
- And lastly, one of the fish in my aquarium is swimming at a funny angle and having trouble staying afloat. Some of the girls have named him Alfred and are feeling very sorry for him. After they left the classroom on Thursday, I found notes taped to the aquarium telling “Alfred” he’d had a good life and they were going to miss him when he died.
No need to feel sorry for me – I get to spend the day with captive audience members (who laugh at my jokes, if they know what’s good for them), who are also stand-up comedians (or sit-down, as the case may be)!