Saturday, March 16, 2013

Unexpected Answers

As a guidance counselor in a middle school I also taught one class that we called social skills.   This was a sixth grade class and was a great way to get to know all of the students.  We discussed things such as peer pressure, bullying, time management...etc.  Our school had four sixth grade classes, so I taught one group each nine weeks and then rotated to a new class the next nine weeks.

My third group of sixth graders were seated and ready for their first class with me.  I always began with 'class rules' which can be a bit tiresome but needed to be done.  Since it was a small school, most of the students knew me as I would work with teachers, conduct small groups, and made myself as visible as possible.  But this was the first time they would have me as a teacher.

"What classroom rules do you think I have?"  I asked.

A young boy, was waving his hand with such enthusiasm that I had to call on him. 

"We are not allowed to kill bugs,"  he stated. I was a bit taken aback wondering how to segway from bugs to showing respect...which was the rule I had intended to have as discussion.  Then I remembered that I had stopped a boy in one of the former classes when he was about to stomp on a spider.   I am sure I had given a lecture about all creatures have a purpose....etc...and for some reason the word was out..."Don't kill bugs in Ms. Haworth's class!"

I know that all of you as teachers or parents have had such experiences....where the answer to your question is so wrong...yet so right.  I am interested in what some of yours are!

Oh...and one more.... Our music teacher (sixth grade again) asked if there were any questions after a lesson on reading music....knowing this lesson was probably not the most interesting to these young students....imagine her surprise when 'Johnny's' hand shot up....wiggling in his seat like a puppy dog.  Ah...she had hooked someone's interest...maybe he will join the in the musical...and yes, she smiled and called on him.

"Do you only have three toes?"  (Her shoes had open toes and only three of her toes were showing.)

I could go on....but it is Saturday morning and I have lots to do.  So please, let me know some of your students' comments to your questions.


  1. I too teach at a middle school...I think I have these kind of answers on a daily basis. I know that I use the response, "OK, moving on" a lot!

    1. Yes, that is a good reply! Gotta love middle schoolers!

  2. In first grade I was going to read a book called The Surprise Garden and we were making predictions of what the surprise might be. I asked one young man what he was thinking. His reply was, "I was wondering what I was going to have for dinner tonight." I had to laugh and he wondered why.

  3. My middle schoolers get the..." and thank you for sharing" comment while I quickly call on someone else! I have some real doozies this year!