We had a bright young BYU practicum student on our Second Grade team for part of the semester. She came to work in my class one day and so I let her introduce herself at the beginning of class. When she was finished my kids all wanted to ask her questions, so we called on a few students. Inevitably, one of my students was finally brave enough to ask the class' favorite question: "Are you married?"
The BYU girl launches into this whole, "No, I'm not married, but I am dating someone so I do have a boyfriend. I mean we're not engaged or anything, but it's pretty serious, blah, blah, blah..." I wanted to roll my eyes and yell, "Hey lady, they're seven. A simple no will suffice."
But instead one of my girls interrupted her mid-rant and said, "Miss Earl, you have got to get out more! (turns to the BYU girl and points at me) Do you know SHE doesn't even have a BOYFRIEND?! She just hangs out with second graders."
A student runs up to my desk one morning and says, "I found your picture on the school website! You look not very good. I showed my older sister and she said you looked really not cute. I don't know why I felt like telling you that.."
On Fridays we have class meetings. We pass around the Magic Marker and everybody gets to say The Good News (one thing that's going well in our class), and The Bad News (one thing we need to work on).
On a typical Friday, The Good News is something like, "We have the best teacher." or "Nobody is being bullied." And The Bad News would be, "We have two yellow cards today." or "People are talking so Miss Earl gets mad."
On this Friday, one of my girls gets the marker in her hands and says, "The Bad News is that sometimes Miss Earl accidentally makes me feel completely useless." And then she looks at me with a smile. The whole class went quite and my boy sitting next to me went, "Oooo, burn...." I tried to look calm and composed when I asked, "What do I do that makes you feel useless?" To which she replied, "I said accidentally. It's just who you are."
*** Side note: When it came to getting her work done on time and being on task- she was pretty dang useless. But she was an excellent reader. ***
I was sitting on the bench at recess when one of my girls starts playing with my hair.
Girl: Be honest, did you shower today? Or yesterday?
This same girl stood about two feet away from the teacher's bench and said, "Miss Earl, I am pretty sure I can smell your deodorant from here."
One girl talking to another at recess:
Girl 1: Do you think I am skinny or fat?
Girl 2: You're skinny.
Girl 1: Yes I am. But my dad is fat, my mom is fat, my sister's really fat, and... (noticing me listening in) Miss Earl? Well, if I say what she is I don't think she will give me any more chocolate. (She gave me a devilish grin and ran away. I made her flip her card after recess, two can play at that game...)
I got new glasses and the first day I wore them to school they were quite the shock to my students. One boy walked in and said, "Miss Earl looks like a NERD!" From my desk, I said, "Cristian, did you just call me a nerd?" I looked back at him and his face just fell. He panicked. "No, no, no, no, no... I said you look like a dork!" he said with a proud, confident smile. Nice save.
I wore my hair with it's natural texture one day, and I hadn't for a long time. I walked in the room and one of my girls said to me, "You look like the wife of Frankenstein." To which another girl replied, "Yeah except for that doesn't make any sense because nobody will marry her."
I feel like I should make it clear that I love all my students, and they love me, too. Most days.