By Jake Laurie
Working with very young students takes a special breed of teacher. Five year old kids can be challenging, demanding, adorable, impatient and infuriating, but they can be oh so hilarious. My funniest teaching experiences have been teaching this age group. They have a wonderful honesty and perspective. Their parents and families would be mortified by some of things from home that are repeated at school. Here are just a few of my favorite moments.
1. Mom and Dad’s secrets. In this lesson a few years ago, students were blindfolded and asked to guess the taste of various things. After successfully guessing a variety of foods, they were all stumped on honey. None of the kids could guess it. I was giving lots of clues, but still to no avail. Eventually I said, “You might hear your Mom and Dad call each other this.” A student straight away spat out his honey and cried, “gross, we’re eating assholes!”
2. The rebel. A particularly bold student was overheard swearing in class. I asked him why he was swearing at school. He replied with his best tough guy face, “because I want to be a man”. I pointed out that I was a man, and that I didn’t swear at school, to which the student retorted, “yeah, but you’re a good man!”
3. The anatomy lesson. It was the end of a particularly messy science activity in which we had been investigating the concept of absorption. As a class we were brainstorming what other things we could think of that might absorb liquid. To the horror of the all the other 5 year olds in the room, one of the boys had an ‘ah ha’ moment. “When a woman bleeds from her vagina each month, the thing she puts inside her, does that absorb?”
4. The blissfully innocent. A girl in my class very thoughtfully said to me one day, “Mister, you must be very busy.”
“Why do you say that,” I replied.
“Well, how do you get time to go to work when you are at school all day?”
5. The wild animal. After recess one day, I asked my students to line up at the door. One of them promptly ran to the door, got down on his hands and knees and started roaring.
“What on earth are you doing?” I asked him.
“Just being a lion at the door, like you asked.”
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