What's the craziest thing a student ever said to you?

The craziest thing a student ever said to me happened in my first year of teaching. Let me set the scene for you all. I was teaching in a self contained classroom that had students’ with multiple disabilities and needs. One of those needs was to work on filtering, which meant not saying everything that came to mind.

On an October afternoon, I was teaching a science lesson that was going great. The kids were engaged and I was feeling pretty good. But that was about to change very quickly. Since it was my first year of teaching, my principal had to do scheduled and unscheduled observations on my teaching.

So there I am in front of the class engaging my students and in walks my principal for an unscheduled observation.  She was an amazing principal, but was very formal in her interactions. When she walked in. I had a slight moment of panic, but thought this lesson is going great, it will be okay. Well….that thought ended very quickly.  My student who was working on filtering his thoughts jumped out of his seat, walked over to my principal and looked her up and down.  Before I could say a word, he turned, looked at me, and said “Mrs. Hawthorne, what is this old goat doing in our classroom? Doesn’t she know we are trying to learn here!!”  For a split second I couldn’t even breathe, let alone talk.  I thought wow, I only made it a few months into my first year of teaching and now I am going to be fired. I decided I might as well finish strong since this is it. I asked my student to sit down and reminded him that we do not say everything we think and he needed to apologize to my principal. He begrudgingly went over and apologized to her, but still said that he was right because she was rude and interrupted our science lesson. 

I finished my lesson. Afterwards, fearing my career would end, I sat down to review my observation. Before my principal said anything, she burst out in laughter. She said she had been called some names, but never old goat.  Her laughing reminded me to always look for the humor your students bring to your life everyday and that you never know what is going to come out of a child’s mouth! 

Tiffany has 7 years of teaching experience in a mild intellectual disabilities self contained classroom with grades 3-5.  Currently she is teaching in a new multi categorical classroom for grades 3-5 in Richland School District Two.

Tiffany is a graduate of The University of Toledo (B.A) and Capella University (M.A) and currently beginning her Master’s plus thirty. In 2014 Tiffany became a National Board Certified teacher.  She has been recognized within Richland School District Two for technology integration in her classroom.  

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