I have officially finished my second year of teaching. Everyone says that the second year is easily as difficult as the first, only for different reasons. This has proven absolutely true for me. This year was tough, mostly because our school doubled in size and we had a few growing pains.
What I say to people is that the first year of teaching is just insane. Everything is overwhelming. The nice thing about my second year was that there were fewer surprises. I no longer had to get over the shock of a girl thinking it’s acceptable to curl her hair in the middle of my lesson. Instead I could simply take the curling iron and chuck it out the window (No, I didn’t actually do that. But I wanted to.) The one thing that I think will never stop surprising me, however, is the amount of ridiculousness I hear from my students on any given day. This is a compilation of conversations I have had/overheard during the 2013-2014 school year.
Student #1 (after class): Miss, do you do any drugs?
Student #2: You’re not allowed to ask her that!
Me: You’re NOT allowed to ask me that. But no.
Student #1 (looks at my coffee mug): Oh really? You’re doing some right now.
Student #1: Miss, come over here and ask [Student #2] what she is.
Me to Student #2: What are you?
Student #2: A veterinarian.
Student #1: And tell Ms. Sundt what that means.
Student #2: I don’t eat meat.
Student #1: And who are the people who take care of animals?
Student #2: Veteritarians.
Student #1: And what are vegetarians?
Student #2: You know, people who eat the burgers and stuff.
Student: Miss, do chickens have penises?
Me: Well, they have something that gets the job done, I guess…
Student: But I thought the lady chicken just lays eggs all ready to go.
Me: No, those are unfertilized eggs. If you leave an egg out, it’s not going to turn into a chick. The male needs to fertilize it.
Student: So….does that mean….that when we eat eggs, we’re eating chicken period?!
Me: Yes, it does.
Student #2: Miss, do squirrels have penises?
Student #1: (walks in during passing time) Miss, what happened to your hair?
Me: What are you talking about?
Student #1: It looks terrible!
Me: That’s mean! Nothing’s wrong with my hair!
3rd hour student #2: (walks in): Miss, were you attacked?
Me: Are you kidding me? Did you guys plan this?
Student #1: No, we didn’t plan it. Don’t you have a brush at home? Why didn’t you use it?
Me: Okay. First of all, it’s humid. So give me a break. Second of all, I’m now gonna flunk both of you for saying any of this.
Student #1: Why do they say, “Breaking bread?”
Student #2: It’s like from Jesus and stuff. They broke bread and ate it before he died.
Student #1: Yeah, but it’s stupid. What if you’re not eating bread? Why can’t you say, “Breaking Skittles”?
During a Code Red drill, we turn off all the lights and sit against the wall.
Me to student: Hey, you need to sit down. If someone looked through the window, they would see you.
Student: Miss, I’m black. No one’s seeing me through any windows.
Student: Miss, does your husband like sports?
Me: Yeah, some. But he’s more into music.
Student: Oh, does he ever play you love songs?
Me: Not really. I kinda get embarrassed by that kind of stuff.
Me: Well, I’m not a romantic.
Student: Miss, how did you ever get married?
Student: Ms. Sundt, you are confusing.
Me: How so?
Student: You’re making us learn about the Holocaust, but you look kinda German.
Me: I am kinda German.
Student: Yes, but you also have that Anne Frank haircut now. So what message are you trying to send?
Me: So what did we learn about Absalom in Cry, the Beloved Country so far?
Student: He went to the reformatory, and he got his girlfriend pregnant.
Me: Yes, so what questions can we come up with for the chart?
Student: How did he get her pregnant?
Student: Wait, no, never mind. You don’t have to answer that.
Me: Thank you.
Student *completely seriously*: Can you come over and see what I have so far for my essay?”
Me *reads*: “In ‘The Cold Equations,’ Marilyn is the most courageous because she knew she was about to die. She strapped on a pair and took responsibility for her actions”—You can’t write that!
Me: She “strapped on a pair”?! That’s not academic writing.
Student: Ok, how about, “She developed a pair of—”
When I get overwhelmed with second-year-teacher stuff, it’s nice to look back at these little nuggets of hilarity and think to myself, I’m actually going to miss these weirdoes.
A born-and-and-raised Grand Rapidian, Sarah (’12) is now a seventh grade language arts teacher in the Seattle area. She has been living there since the summer of 2015 with her music teacher husband, Mike. She loves reading, watching Netflix, playing games, watercolor, and walking at the off-leash dog park (even though she does not have a dog).