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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

There's the bathroom on the right

I got an email a while back from Tim Wei, who wrote the Guide to Getting a Teacher Job, asking if he could guest post here on Learn Me Good. I'm always open to a nice story, and if it makes less work for me, then so much the better!

Tim is a 3rd grade teacher in upstate New York, and here is Tim's post:


True story: This past Tesday morning my students were coming into the classroom. In less than a half hour they'd be taking the Grade 3 New York State Math Exam. I was busy putting name stickers on the booklets and reminding kids to sharpen their number 2 pencils.

Over the past week the students had completed half-a-dozen practice tests and we'd reviewed every possible concept that could be on the test. The day before I had reminded everyone to get a good night's sleep so they'd be sharp and ready to show off their great math skills.

Now that it was the morning of the test, I was feeling good that the kids knew their stuff. I was feeling pretty confident that they were prepared.

Olivia walks up to me and we have a conversation that goes something like this:

Olivia: "Can I go down to the Math Room?"

Me: "Why do you need to go to the Math Room?"

Olivia: "Because I have to go down there."

(Now I'm wondering what the Math Room is. Our school doesn't have a Math Room. At least I didn't know about one.)

Me: What Math Room are you talking about? Where is this Math Room?

(Olivia points down the hall)

Me: Who is in the Math Room?

Olivia: I don't know.

Me: I'm confused. Do you need help with Math?

Olivia: No.

Then Olivia is giving me a blank, confused stare. And I'm looking at her wondering if she's gone bananas.

And then I realize that she didn't want to go to the Math Room at all. She was asking me if she can go to the BATHroom.

And I was too dumb to realize it.

To read more from Tim, go to


Jason Oller said...

Where's the Carnival of Education? Who's doing it next week? I am thinking of submitting a LEAP Test Article.

You(Mister Teacher) might find this interesting: My School made the Louisiana Division 2-A State Playoffs.

Angela Watson said...

That's hilarious. Since you're clearly hard of hearing, I'll offer a tip: If the kid asks to get a mink, point them to a water fountain.

LSquared32 said...

Anyone with that sort of hearing (who teaches elementary school) _has_ to read "The Hungry Thing" and "The Hungry Thing Returns" (I like the second one best, but they're both a lot of fun).

Melissa B. said... got MORE than a chuckle out of me. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm a 3rd grade teacher as well, and that is a hilarious story! I worked for six years in Texas and, as a Midwesterner, there was a definite language barrier at times.

Anonymous said...

How come everyone assumes I'm hard of hearing? Maybe the kid talks funny! Uh... well, okay... trusth is: she's not hard to understand at all. :) I just had Math on the brain that morning.

Mister Teacher said...

Don't worry Tim, I know that little kids often slur their words worse than a drunken sailor, so it has nothing to do with your hearing...