Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - My Edition #6 - Oops!

Thirteen embarrassing things that have happened to me in the classroom.

The idea for this post "flashed" before my eyes yesterday. Last night, as I told my family about a "revealing" moment (#1 below) I had in class, it dawned on me that in the 20 years I've taught, I've had several embarrassing moments. Let's see if there are 13.

1. At the end of the school day, I pulled down our class map for a child to show the class a state she had visited. She tried to put the map back up and it didn't cooperate. Each time she pulled a little, instead of springing back up, the map came a little further down. Finally, it was at full length. The wooden dowel at the bottom of the map was practically touching the floor. I gently pulled the map and it quickly rolled to the top. Suddenly, the room was darker and draftier! The dowel rod at the bottom of the map had caught my dress, flinging the hem to the top of the map stand above my head! The hem of my dress was stuck on the dowel that was above my head! I couldn't see and it took me a minute to get the dress free of the map! Luckily, I had on a full skirt and a full slip. Nothing terribly personal was revealed, and my class of 6-year-olds hardly seemed to notice! One child said, "Whew! Your dress flew way up there!" I just said, "It sure did," and kept on going with instructions!

2. Several years ago, while teaching 5th grade, my class was deeply involved in a discussion about WWII. I sauntered to the front of the room while listening to a child share his ideas and sat on the edge of the kidney-shaped table. The table tilted and I was dropped to the floor!

3. This one, I would never have remembered if the children hadn't documented it in the yearbook. Again, in a 5th grade classroom, I tripped over the overhead cord and stumbled across the room. I didn't fall, but it took a while to regain my balance and it seemed like I stumbled for a very long time before righting myself. We got a good laugh out of it. When the 5th graders were asked by the yearbook staff at the end of the year for the funniest moment of elementary school, many of my students listed my impromptu "dance" for balance in the yearbook!

4. Boy, I sound like a klutz! But, here's another stumbling one. I was teaching kindergarten at the time. We had gone outside with our book buddies and played a game of kickball. I was lining all 45 or so children up and beginning to get them ready to go inside. I was talking to them and giving instructions while I walked backwards, facing the children, up a hill on the sidewalk. My foot stepped off the sidewalk and I rolled DOWN the hill! Every child was looking at me because I had their attention and was talking at the time!

5. 18 years or so ago, I taught 4th grade. Wrap around skirts were in style at the time, and I was a young, fairly fashionable teacher. I was walking around my classroom while I taught. I felt something around my feet, but at the time I was passing the desk of a student who often had the floor cluttered with belongings. I kept teaching and gently pushed what I assumed was a jacket under the child's desk with my foot. I kept walking. Suddenly, I realized my skirt was gone! It was under the child's desk! Again, I had on a full slip and nothing major was revealed. Thank the Lord for slips!

6. 5th grade. I was teaching adjectives that follow linking verbs. I wrote on the board, "Johnny's shirt was yellow." At least, that's what I intended to write on the board. I asked a child to read the sentence and tell me the adjective. The child politely told me that he wasn't allowed to read that sentence. When I asked why, he told me that he wasn't allowed to use that word. I glanced back at the board, and I had left the r out of the word shirt!

7. We had had a particularly unruly day in a third grade classroom. I had given a stern lecture about being quiet in class, listening to directions, and not interrupting. After the class was still unable to calm down, I had decided to write a couple of assignments on the board and have the children work quietly rather than do the more active lessons I had planned. I told the children to get out paper and pencil, follow directions on the board and not to talk! I turned to write the assignments on the board when I felt a tap on my shoulder. In a controlled, quiet, firm, but out of patience voice, I said, "Follow directions." I finished writing the assignments and turned to find my assistant principal quietly waiting for me to finish. He's the one who had tapped me on the shoulder! Luckily, he knew me well and had been in my classroom many times. We had a good laugh about it!

8. Numerous times dressing up in the name of motivating children - 50s day, book character day, farm day, etc.

9. Numerous times having to participate in an assembly, carnival, festival, etc. - dancing, being the magic show prop, sitting in the dunk tank, tossing clubs to a juggler, pies ins the face, wet sponges in the face, etc.

10. Many years ago, teaching 4th grade I was walking down the hall and heard one of my very gregarious students yelling, "Don't worry, Miss T, I'll get it!" I turned to find him running down the hall after me, holding out a chalkboard eraser, and laughing uncontrollably! I had worn a black suit to school that day, and evidently I had leaned against the chalkboard. I had a near-perfect list of spelling words down the back of my black jacket and pants! He was planning to erase them for me.

11. My first year of teaching - 4th grade - 21 years old. One of my students threw-up in class. Back in those days, it was my classroom and I was responsible for any clean-ups. I was trying to sprinkle the gravel-stuff on the gross stuff and control my own urge to toss my cookies. A very disgusted, male, veteran teacher walked by my room and saw what was happening. In a not so pleasant voice, he said, "Oh, for goodness sake! Take the class and get out of here before I have to clean up after both of you!" We went to the playground for some fresh air, and he cleaned up my room.

13. I played the piano for the 5th grade chorus concert at PTA one year at my current school. I only had to play 2 songs. The first one went fine. I don't know what happened during the second song, but I got totally lost! I don't think I played a single note correctly after a certain point in the song! I couldn't find my place. I couldn't get my fingers on the right notes. I just started playing softer and softer. I tried to let the children's voices drown out the piano. At the end of the mutilated song, the music teacher motioned for me to continue playing while the props were changed. It was no use. I just quit and we watched in stiff silence while the set was changed. The music teacher has never asked me to accompany the chorus again!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Amelia Elias said...

Those are hilarious! You sound like you kept your cool in a lot of hard situations. LOL!

My TT's up now! 12 of the best gifts I've ever received.

Gattina said...

Hahahaha and I am still laughing ! I should have had you as my teacher when I was a child, maybe then I wouldn't have been so disgusted about school ! My teacher was an old grey looking fat woman with 3 hairs on her head and teeth which went until her chin,all yellow and big and when she talked she spitted and little yellow bubbles were hanging around her lips. Brrr what a sight for a 8 year old girl ! and on top she was a sadist !

Joan said...

Hilarious! I'm glad you have a good memory to share these with us and a good sense of humor to have gotten through these situations! My TT is also posted.

Daisy said...

What a great way to start the day, I am laughing and laughing!

Carol said...

My favorite was #6 - sounds like something I'd do. Submit this post to next week's Carnival of Education! That's an order! :-)

Sparky Duck said...

5 and 6 are hilarious. And I think I have seen plenty of my teachers sit on the wrong desk and at least stumble about.

Janet said...

OMG too funny! And here I thought slips were totally out of fashion!

Uisce said...

OMG I'm LMAO at Johnny's yello poo! happy TT, mine's up!

Mitchypoo said...

#6 made me LOL! Too runny. Oops, i meant funny!

JennyMcB said...

Yep, #6 was a gem. Your list made me miss teaching!
I will have to remember the topic for a list someday.

The Cosmic Kid said...

Great list! and congrats on being a featured TT!

Faerylandmom said...

I read the right blog today...I LOVE slapstick comedy...stumbles, bumbles, and things that go "oops!" Thank you for the real laughs today, and grats on being picked as a featured T13!

Mine's up too, but not nearly as fun as yours! :)

Chelle A. said...

Oh my gosh, that was hilarious! I'm still chuckling at #6!

Great T13!


Raggedy said...

I am here via your dad. He left your link.
I am glad I made the stop.
That was a very funny list.
*raises hand
ermmm, ummmm, isn't there a number between eleven and thirteen called twelve. I may be wrong. If not you owe me one more story.
Fabulous Thursday Thirteen!
Thank you.
Mine is posted

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Ohh, geez. If you're this funny all the time, you've got a new fan!

I was friends with a guy in grad school who came to me during my office hours one morning. He had to tell me about his lecture that day. With HUGE, grandiose hand gestures, he told me how amazing, enlightening, liberating (and on and on) his lecture was. And at the end, still keeping his descriptive cadence, he said, "I delivered it with my fly open!"

And then he winked at me and got real small. "And I wear boxers," he said.

Philosophy almost got REAL interesting THAT morning.

Mercy's Maid said...

You had me laughing out loud. It sounds like you have a great sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely a hoot... I laughed out loud reading your "klutzy" episodes. How must have a great sense of humor and what a good impression you have left on a child's mind.

Jane said...

Oh Lyn, you made me smile. If you teach children, these things are bound to happen. Thanks for sharing your embarrassing moments.
I post 13 Green Things That I Like!

Anonymous said...

What a great list! Just like a breath of fresh air! Thanks for the smies this evening!!

Marilyn said...

Oh gee, you are a brave woman. I only taught kids for a year and I'm never sharing the moments witnessed only by those thirteen-year-olds. Of course, they have told the entire known world every stupid thing I ever did and made up a few, so I don't need to.

It was a fun read. Thank you.

Robin said...

Those are a riot. The kids must love being in your class!

Happy TT.


Wow....Number 1 must have been really embarassing. I haven't even read the rest yet. That one must have been really embarassing.


I laughed at the one about the yellow shirt.

I will have to read some of these to my husband. You have made me smile today....Thank you.

Bubba said...

My hat is off to you...because you did all this embarrassment in the hope of educating the next generation. And I'm sure with a sense of humor like yours you did a great job!

My TT is up at TT!

Jenn said...

These are GREAT! Fabulous TT!

Ruth said...

What a fun post...I enjoyed reading it and all you write immensely.

andy said..., a web 2.0 social network for families that captures updates from one's family & friends, allows the building and linking of family trees and simplifies the sharing of family treasures like; photo albums, stories, birthdays, anniversaries, interests, news and blogs.

Powerful features include:

1. Family tree based navigation. Members use their own family tree to get to albums and blogs of a connected family member at anytime. You don't have to preserve the album links sent in numerous emails.

2. Collaborate with your family to build family tree together, with ability to control who can modify which profiles.

3. Secure – Users control security of their information. Can choose different sharing levels within the network for DOB, contact information, last name, albums etc.

4. Kincafe digs the latest albums and stories from the network and presents right upon login.

5. Drag and drop based Album creation.
6. HTML and Ajax based UI. No flash.

Please get in touch with for any help.