My Little Brother

from The Diary of a First Grade Teacher

My Little Brother wasn't the topic I had chosen for my first graders to speak about today during their oral language development lesson. But it was the one THEY had chosen!

See, they were assigned to complete the following sentence: The best dream I ever had was …

But here’s what happened ...

First, Clarissa stood and was eager to report. “My bestest dream I ever had was so good! A monster comed and took my baby brother away!”

Tommy stated forthrightly, “My best dream was that my baby bro wasn’t so BIG AND BAD!”



“Yeah,” Martin interjected, “Teacher, does your little brother ever NOY you?”

"NOY?" I asked. "What do you mean?"

He threw up his hands in despair. “ I MEAN 'NOY YOU TO DEATH!”



I reminded the class that the sentence to complete was this:

The best dream I ever had was …

Stevie wholeheartedly agreed. “That’s right! But first, I got to tell you somefin, Teacher. About pests! I’m GLAD my little brother ain’t in First Grade. He’s only four years old. But he’s a BIG PEST!”

He reflected solemnly for a moment … Then a frightened look slowly grew on his face.

“Say, do they let pests LIKE THAT in school?”



Weesie was in a feverish state of excitement. Whenever she could stand it no longer, she wailed, “When I get home, I get TERRORIZED. Cause-a my little brother.”

She babbled on at ninety miles a hour. “Last night, I lost my MAD temper. That little brat won’t LEAVE ME ALONE!

She spat like an angry cat. “He drives me CRAZY … I sleep on the top bunk. And he’s on the bottom. He kept turning the lights on ALL NIGHT LONG! Do you think he listens to me?” She wrinkled up her nose.

“NO! I had to keep getting up and down to turn the lights off.”

Finally, exhausted, she calmly stated the truth of the matter. “I told Momma … That boy! He almost runned the light bill clean off!”



Later, as the students told me what their favorite animal was I recorded their answers on a pictograph that I had drawn on the large whiteboard in front of our classroom.


Whenever it was Gena’s turn, she was on her mark. “I like just about ALL the ami-nals ‘cept for one. It starts with b … for oh, brother!

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