When you teach teenagers, you often hear very interesting things. Sometimes, they share interesting things in the classroom. More often, in the hallway. Most often? The lunchroom.
Hopefully, not a lunchroom like this one.
Although I don’t plan on tackling the lunch line anytime soon (unless it looks like a lunch lady land), I do have the opportunity of overhearing conversations—and even more often, spoken directly to the entire class. Here is a glimpse of some things that I’ve heard during the first week of school:
1.) [In the middle of a class discussion] A girl raised her hand and said “Ms. Looney, you know what I really want? A monkey.” The best part? No one else in the class responded to this whatsoever. They continued right on discussing the reading.
2.) [In a student’s classroom journal]: “In some ways, I am not sensible. For a long time, I thought that Seattle was a state.”
3.) In a student’s “About Me” inventory, the students answered a range of questions about their interests, family, friends, etc. The last question was simply “Miss Looney should know…___________.” I received a WIDE range of responses. There were the helpful ones, such as “I tend to be shy speaking in front of people” and “It really helps me having many examples.” Then there were the very bizarre ones, such as, “I HATE BARACK OBAMA!!!” (Yes, with all 3 exclamation points).
I still have no idea why this was the one fact I NEEDED to know. I discovered the next day that this student started hunting at age 7. I’m pretty sure there’s a connection there, somehow?
4.) [In one of my classes’ first assignments, which was a “Letter to Looney” about their goals]: “I am the quietest/loudest and nicest/meanest kid there ever was.”
I think I’m in for an interesting year.