Archives › Students Say The Darndest Things

May 30 2010

In which I am skreet.

The voting for “Most Influential on American History” commenced on Friday. Some of the kids were a bit silly about it (Miley Cyrus … no.) but most took it seriously and came up with good arguments. First block wound up in a tie between Martin Luther King Jr and … Jesus. I was supposed to…

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May 28 2010

Car Smash

Kids had the opportunity to pay a dollar for three hits at this car with teacher’s names painted on it at lunch today. Overheard while kids whacked away at my name… “Mrs. B., the hammer slipped.” *cough* “Next time, assign less summer work!” “This is for all the DBQs!”  “Mrs. B, I love ya’, but…

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May 26 2010

Identifying the wrong cause.

5 minutes into after school attendance recovery. The room is silent. I am typing at my desk when a plaintive voice is raised. “I’ll give you five bucks if you let me leave right now.” “Nope.” “Ten?” “Nope.” “Man, we need poorer teachers!”

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May 12 2010

See what’s happening.

So I caved and let one of my redneck English students write his research paper on the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana (which I then had to spell for him) simply because I’m determined to get this kid to turn in something this semester. We’ve been in the computer lab researching for the last…

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Mar 09 2010


Today was the state writing test. Students were asked to (basically) write a letter to parents explaining the meaning of [respect] in a modern teen’s life. As I am walking around the room proctoring I glance at one of my lowest level students papers. The greeting at the beginning of his letter? “Dear Respect,”   I…

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Mar 01 2010

Stupidest. Argument. Ever.

(Two students in my 2nd block after a discussion of Civil War pensions). D: “Mrs. B., how much is an army pension these days?” Me: “I don’t know exactly. It depends on whether you served in combat, whether you were injured, that sort of thing.” “You get more if you are inured?” “Yeah.” “When I’m…

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Fresh off of six hours at school grading (on a Sunday!) I feel the need to remember some of the funny things that have happened recently to keep my spirits up. Last week … We were discussing U.S. Imperialism in my APUSH class, specifically, the Spanish quelling the rebellion in Cuba. I discussed Weyler’s concentration…

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Jun 24 2009

End of Year Survey

I was filing away some of my stuff from the end of the year today and I came across the end of year surveys I always give my classes. These are mostly from the AP kids, since I only had a chance to give the survey to a small number of my standard kids. As…

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May 25 2009

And a little cheese?

The school year, in its perverse way, is both flying and crawling toward its inevitable end. May has been and will continue to be a packed month. Once the AP test was over (relatively successfully, by all accounts… we shall see), it has been a rush of last minute field trips (we’re going to D.C.…

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May 01 2009

The King of Wishful Thinking.

Student: “Ms. W, if I got the swine flu they’d probably have to close the school, right?” Me: “Well, yes, probably.” Student: *cough cough*    *ahem*    “Oink.” Me: “It’s the flu. Try sneezing.”

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Apr 29 2009

Ask and ye shall recieve.

“Ms W., why we gotta do so many little projects in here? “Projects?” “You know, like this poster. And the timelines.” “You have to do something. We can’t just sit here and stare at eachother.” “Can’t I do an alternate assignment?” “Like what?” “I dunno.” “I could have you read and summarize a chapter. Would…

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Feb 20 2009

Poking the Tiger

A conversation with one of my 2nd block lovelies.   “Ms. W!! Someone cut one!” “Do you need to step outside?” “Me? It wasn’t me!!” “Well, you’re the only one who seems to be bothered.” “They all smell it too!” “And yet they seem to be able to handle it without shrieking.” mumblemumblemumble… “It wasn’t…

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Dec 16 2008

News to Me

A conversation today with one of my (biracial) students:  “How was your lunch?” “Ohh, it was so good Ms. W!” “What did you have?” “I had the best Bojangles fried chicken. It made me feel all black again!” “…” “Fried chicken makes you feel black?” “Yep, sure do.” This conversation, of course, ignited a lengthy…

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Dec 09 2008

Likes and Dislikes

One Thing I Like About Teaching: Guaranteed comments on my (fairly dramatic) new hair cut. *gasp* “Ms W! OMG!!! YOU GOT YOUR HAIR CUT!!” “Ooh, Ms. W. I like your hair. It frames your face well.” “Ms. W. you look twenty years younger!” and from one young gentleman… “Ms. W, your hair looks bangin’ … if…

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Oct 17 2008


A few conversations I have had with students over the past week… “Ms. W, where was you yesterday?” “I was out for personal reasons.” “Was you sick?” “No.” “Was you hurt?” “No.” “Was you in an accident?” “No. It was personal.” “Personal? What was you, having a baby?” …..  “Ms. W! Look what I can…

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Sep 30 2008

Stop — Haiku time!

We have been studying haiku lately with my 10th graders (as part of a world poetry unit) and today I had them write haiku about themselves. These haiku were not supposed to have their names in them, but were supposed to give clues that someone could guess from. Tomorrow they’re getting a worksheet with all…

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Sep 26 2008


We had a “soft” lockdown today during 1st period as police and drug dogs searched the campus. This is not an uncommon experience in high schools these days, although I haven’t had my classroom and kids searched since my first year when (I swear) several of my brilliant students hid contraband in my colored pencil…

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Sep 24 2008

Oh god…

I’m grading our final exams for the book Night, by Elie Wiesel. As I’m grading the exam of one of my sweet, but extremely EC children (her case manager told me, “Oh, her? She’s … sloooow…”) I came across these little gems:  Bonus questions (trivia time!): 1. What is Elie’s father’s name? – Hitler 2.…

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Sep 10 2008

A valid question.

We had a “Graduation Awareness Week” assembly this morning which was supposed to take 30 – 40 minutes, but instead wasted my entire first period. They showed a video (“InsideOut”) of prison inmates (many of them serving Life without parole) talking about how they went wrong when they dropped out of school and how important…

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Aug 28 2008

Thanks for noticing.

A conversation with one of the (Caucasian) kids about the reading corner: “Ms. W, you have a book with Tupac on the cover.” “Hmm? Oh, yes. The Rose That Grew From Concrete, it’s a book of his poems.” “He was a rapper, you know.” “Mmhmm.” “He’s black, you know.” “Yeeess?” “I think he’s alive.” “Okay.…

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Jul 11 2008

Student Memoirs

Throughout the three weeks of summer school I have been having my students write short (very short) personal memoirs. The emphasis has been more on writing to express oneself than on grammar and technical proficiency and most of then entered into the exercise with enthusiasm, if not exactly flair. If there is one thing that…

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Jun 10 2008

Last day of school

(Updated periodically throughout the day)   Live blogging the last day of school. Thrilling minute to minute updates follow. 7:22am – I am alerted to the presence of students on the hallway, not by the bell, but by a pack of Freshmen rapping their way down past my room (…about lip gloss? …Odd. ) 7:24am…

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Jun 06 2008


I had a very nice and rather relaxing (!) day yesterday. We’re on testing schedule all week this week, so I have one block in the morning from 7:30am until 12:00 (Testing block) and one block in the afternoon for about an hour and a half (Review block). Yesterday my testing block was 2nd period.…

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May 29 2008

Second Block Strikes Again

A (very playful) exchange between two of my lovelies 2nd period: A: Man, stop touching my stuff! M: I’ll touch your stuff if I want to! A: You do and I’ll… I’ll gas you. With Mustard gas! Yeah. M: Oh yeah? A: And then you’ll get big blisters and inhale it into your lungs and…

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May 20 2008


I haven’t been able to catch a breath this last week or so, let alone blog. The play goes up this Friday and Saturday and we are still frantically running around. Today I curled my script up into a tube and began breathing into it, hoping for a paper bag like effect and a moment…

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