Kids Say ...

from The Diary of a First Grade Teacher

Kids say some outrageous things ... no matter where they are. Even in a classroom full of people. And yes, their stories are definitely entertaining … but can we believe them or not?

As you may have wondered and feared to know ... I’m continually telling my first graders, “Shhh … That’s a personal family matter. I think your family wants to keep that information private.

Does that stop them?

No, because all kids say what they shouldn't. And I don't know why, but it's always the darndest things.

In the classroom, this always happens whenever I least expect it!

Parents should know that teachers – even the new ones - soon realize the way a young child perceives or interprets what he has seen or heard may or may not be the whole truth.

Here’s what happened today …

My Daddy

To make a point related to the lesson I was teaching, I asked, “How many of you sing in the shower?”

Martin waved his hand wildly in the air - and then stopped. “Oh, shoot! I thought you was gonna say in the bathroom.”

“In the bathroom, the bathtub, wherever,” I said. “Do you sing in the bathroom?” “Not me,” he calmly announced. “But my daddy does … He sits on the toilet and plays the guitar ... for HOURS! And he sings too … REAL LOUD!”

That was so funny; I couldn't help but laugh out loud ... I realize the acoustics in the bathroom are good, but it was still hilarious because Martin didn't seem to know that. And neither did his classmates, who were laughing their heads off.

Now, every time I see his dad, I'm sorry but I can't keep from laughing.

Papa Bear

As you know, little children love bathroom humor. So while everyone laughed at Martin’s story, Amy bounced up and down in her desk, eager to speak.

“Oh, oh, oh! I know something about my daddy, too.”

I held up the palm of my hand, cautioning her. “Wait. Be careful what you say. Remember, if it's something personal, we shouldn't go there.”

“Oh, it’s okay, Teacher … My daddy don’t sing on the toilet.” She stopped a second to reconsider. “If he does ... he whispers.”

The whole class laughed again, along with me. I couldn’t help it!

“What?” She asked, innocently. Then, wanting to be completely honest, she confided, “Well ... I don't never hear him.”

Choosing my words carefully, again, I reminded the class not to talk about personal family matters.

“This is not about matters," Amy assured me. “This is about nice.”

“Okay,” I said, hopefully.

“I like the way my daddy TALKS ... He sounds just like Papa Bear.”

“Papa Bear? Who’s THAT?” Martin demanded.

Smiling – and showing two deep-set dimples – Amy answered softly, “Don’t you ‘member ... Mama Bear, Baby Bear, Papa Bear?”

“Oh, shoot!” he said. “I nearly 'bout forgot them.”

“Anyway,” Amy giggled, “my daddy sounds like Papa Bear.” Then, trying her best to mimic him, she said, “He’s got one of them-thar, low-down voices.”

Are You Sure?

I called Joe Joe’s house to speak with his mother about helping him at home with his reading word list ...

She told me that she had BEEN trying to help him … “I mean, I try to work with him EVERY night. Like last night … I tried to help him, but we got into it.”

“What do you mean?”

“He thinks I don’t know anything ... One of the words was pet, but Joe Joe kept calling it pig.”

“I see what you mean,” I said, “because the pet was a pig.”

“Exactly,” his mother said. “But he kept reading pet as pig. Finally, he got frustrated with me, threw his hands in the air and yelled, “Are you SURE, MOMMA? Have YOU ever been in first grade?”

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