. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015

In High Demand

We have one fourth grader this year who is pretty quickly becoming one of my favorite kids ever.

His name is Chuck, and he's a unique little guy. He struggles a bit with interpersonal communication, personal space, and letting things go. To me, that's just part of his charm. 

Oh, he also speaks with absolutely no intonation. His delivery of every line is very flat and almost robotic-sounding. 

He may be on the spectrum. Or maybe not. It doesn't really matter to me. He's a lot of fun and a cool kid.  

In class last week, we made posters of ourselves participating in a physical activity that we enjoy. Students could pick whatever activity they want. They could even include a friend in their picture. They also had to use a speech bubble to tell us why they enjoy that activity. 

Then, we took photos of the kids and my teaching partner cut out their heads and pasted the real photo of their head on the cartoon drawing of their body. We hung these adorable pictures in our windows facing out at the school. 

Only things went tragically wrong apparently. 

You see, Chuck drew a picture of himself riding bikes with his friend. Both individuals in the picture look identical. He did not include a speech bubble coming from his mouth, leaving us to guess which person was Chuck and which was his friend. 

We guessed wrong. 

So this morning went like this:

Chuck: Um, Mrs. Lee. We have a very serious problem.
Me: Oh my! What is it. 
Chuck: Well, my head is on the wrong body. 

It's at this point I get really nervous because I don't know that he's talking about head on his poster. 

Me: uuummmmmm, what?
Chuck: My head. It's on the wrong body. In the window. 
Me: Ooohhhh. (Phew. No psych call needed) Well, Chuck, we needed to guess which was you because you forgot to include your speech bubble. 
Chuck: You guessed wrong. 
Me: I'm sorry about that. I wish we'd guessed correctly. 
Chuck: So you're going to fix it, right?
Me: Unfortunately, no. 
Chuck: Why not?
Me: Following directions is important. I wish you had followed them during the activity so we could have put your head on the correct body, however that's not what happened. Now you're just going to have to adjust to your new body. 
Chuck: But it's not my body. 
Me: I understand that. 

Fast forward to later in the day:

Chuck: I have an idea Mrs. Lee. Roooooll up the blinds, taaaaaaaake down my picture, peeeeeeel off my head, paaaaaaaaaaaste it on the other body, taaaaaaaape the picture back in the window and roooooooll down the blinds. 
Me: Sorry, Chuck but that's probably not going to happen. This is a good lesson in following directions carefully. That's more important to me than anything. 
Chuck: But I want my head on my body. 
Me: I understand that. 

Fast forward to later in the day:

Chuck: Here's what's going to happen, Mrs. Lee. You're GOING TO roll up the blinds, TAKE DOWN my picture, PEEL OFF my head, PASTE IT on the other body, HANG UP my picture and ROLL DOWN the blinds. 
Me: Probably not. 
Chuck: But that's not my body. 
Me: And had you included the speech bubble, we would have known that. 
Chuck: I want my own body. 
Me: I understand that. 

The ball's in his court. Let's see what Monday brings. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

One Word


That's the one word a student in our class thought best described him. 


He chose that word because it's what he's been told. 


He chose that word because it's how he feels. 


Adults in his life made him believe it's true. 


Kids encouraged him to embrace it. 


I'm so glad we asked. 

And ashamed that I might possibly have reinforced his opinion of himself if we hadn't. 

It's a good reminder to me that I must always try to do better for these kids, no matter what I know or don't know about them. 


Let's change that. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


How to instantly become my favorite student: 

Be funny. 

How to instantly stop being my favorite student:

Let a long dingle dangle of snot hang out of your nose and rock back and forth so it swings like a pendulum while I'm watching you from across the room. 

This has been a public service announcement for all fourth graders. You may resume your regularly scheduled programming now. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Don't Be Alarmed

As I've said before, one of my favorite parts of my job is downtime when I can just chat with the kids. Their true little personalities come out then. 

I did that today as they waited in line for ice cream sundaes after our 4th grade field day. 

So, we're in a park and a car alarm nearby starts beeping. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Me: Wow. That's the worst song I've ever heard. (Wink wink)

Abby: Yeh, it sounds like a broken record. 

Me: I'm amazed you know what a broken record is, let alone what it sounds like!

Abby: Mrs. Lee, I know a LOTTA things about a LOTTA things. (Insert sassy head snap)

Me: Noted

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Too Much Lick-er

So the other day one of our parents at school had something sticky on her right palm, probably the gelato we were selling as a fundraiser, so she licked it off as she was talking to me. I mean LICKED it off, full tongue, several licks. 
It was like watching Palm Porn. 
Right after she was done, palm still wet with spit, she shook hands with another poor unsuspecting teacher who approached us. 
I don't care how much money that fundraiser brought in. NOT WORTH IT. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Drop the Hammer

Yesterday was Open House. 

Today was "extremely tired but exceedingly talkative students" day. 

At one point, after fruitlessly fighting the talking, I just sat down at my desk to cool off before I blew my stack. 

Always observant Izzy sees me do this, folds her hands, shuts her mouth and sits quietly for about 30 seconds. Every 2.4 seconds, she glances over her shoulder to make sure I notice her good behavior. 

Finally, she turns to me and says, "Have you noticed how chatty this class is today?" as she rolls her eyes dramatically. "I think you should give them aaaaall <insert arm sweep across the room> marks for this. Well, everyone except me, of course."

Marks are negative points for the week. 

I assured her I would seriously consider her advice. 

It was just what I needed to regain my perspective on how tired, but excited, ten year olds might act on the morning after an eventful evening. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fly! Be Free!

My teaching partner hatched butterflies in her classroom.

One butterfly remained on Butterfly Release Day.

Butterfly Release Day went badly.

Here's the obituary we posted in the staff lounge:

A Thoughtfully-Written Obituary
Bart the Butterfly

Today we celebrate the short, but meaningful, life of Bart the Butterfly: A true warrior among insects.

Bart’s life could never be described as easy. Born in captivity, he lived the majority of his life in a butterfly habitat upside down with his legs flailing in the air.  (He may have struggled with undiagnosed vertigo.) After a long weekend, Bart was mistaken for dead and thrown in the trash. (Yes, we’re looking at YOU, Mrs. T…) Thankfully, he was rescued and freedom was afoot. He was released between the protective limbs of the large tree by the school's stage.

But he fell out.

Like five times.

So then his handlers took him to a smaller tree, but he fell out of that one too.


Finally, carried by the cheers and goodwill of the growing crowd around him, he struggled his way to the grass again and landed gently on the ground.

Where a bird ate him.

But not before he was the object of a tug-of-war with another bird.

In all honesty, both birds may have eaten him. Things got scrappy fast, making it hard to tell.

In any event, he was a wonderful butterfly.

In lieu of flowers, a fund has been set up to pay for the counseling needed after witnessing The Butterfly Bloodbath of 2015.

Rest in Pieces Little Upside Down Butterfly Warrior. Your fight is over.

Our staff wrote many kind messages on the memorial.

The candle remained unlit due to city fire regulations.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Gimme an A!

In science class today, I asked my students to find, according to the text they'd just read, where most of the world's oxygen comes from. 

Without looking for the answer in the text, one enthusiastic young scholar confidently yelled out:


It's Algae...

Close, kid! 
But not really.