This Week’s LOL Moments

I am grading spelling tests, and students wrote sentences for each word. I always explain that their sentences must show that they clearly understand what the word means (i.e. If the spelling word is spoon, they can’t write ”What is a spoon?” They have to write something like ”I eat my cereal with a spoon” to explain the meaning.) So the spelling word was ”believe” and my student writes for his sentence, ”I believe I can fly.” I instantly heard background music (okay, so it was just in my head) from R. Kelly belting out on the Space Jam soundtrack (I confess, that was my childhood favorite soundtrack : )) ”I believe I can fly… I believe I can touch the sky…” LOL


I teach 5th grade math, so my 6th graders go to other math classes, and another teacher’s 5th graders change to my classroom for our daily 60 minutes of math. I have enjoyed math class this year, especially since it’s been one big experiment while I adjust to the Everyday Math curriculum. The other day, as students are entering and settling into their seats, one of the girls says, ”Miss, I like your shirt!” (It’s a bright purple shirt with ”wing” sleeves. Not sure what else to call them.) I make chicken wings and say, ”Thanks, this shirt helps me to fly!” Another student says in a mock serious voice with his eyebrows at just the right furrow, ”I don’t suggest you jump off a building with that shirt.” I LOLed right then and there! I wish I had a photo of his facial expression to share with you!


We are working on synonyms for ”feeling” words to help students express themselves confidently (and to grow our vocabularies : )). So the word of the day was ”tired” and I introduced two synonyms during our Morning Meeting — lethargic and exhausted. Tomas and Luis were immediately hooked by the word  lethargic and began repeating it over and over. I described how sloths are lethargic because they move so slowly that it takes them 24 hours to climb up and down just one tree. Just then over the loudspeaker, the daily Pledge of Allegiance began, and all students stood, except Marcelo. About three phrases into the Pledge, Marcelo was still in his chair but his arms were slowly lifting up to the ceiling. In my best quiet teacher voice, I command Marcelo to join us in standing, and he whispers back, ”Miss, but I’m practicing being a lethargic sloth.” Right, so it’s going to take you 24 hours to stand up. LOL.


I was hosting a study hall of sorts with my 6th graders and another teacher’s 4th graders while our 5th graders were in D.A.R.E. class. The secretaria called over the loudspeaker, and we had a short conversation in Spanish about daily school details. The buzz of busy students stopped, and when I turned to face the class, the latino 4th graders’ jaws were dropped (I humbly confess I love these moments of surprising kids : )). All in that same moment, two latinas literally got out of their desks, hugged me with a huge tackle, and exclaimed, ”Eres puertorriqueña?” (Are you Puerto Rican?) LOL. Apparently my Spanish accent of the moment made them think I share their heritage. ”No, chicas,” I told them, ”I am gringa.” I glanced over at my beaming 6th graders. Oh yes, they are still proud that their gringa maestra speaks the español. : )


My Spanish Teachers

Introducing… my Spanish teachers! These women meet every other Friday for Bible study and I join in for the Bible and for the Spanish : ). They are so patient with my Spanish, and I feel like a celebrity with all the kids because they’re like, ”You’re the bilingual teacher!?” and then they want to tell me every detail of their school accomplishments : ). I love every moment of it! 

Left to Right: Maria Carmen holding Josefina, Marti, Marta holding Jeremy, Raquel standing on tip toe behind Marta, Ashley (in front of me), Suzi, and Suzi’s son.

Several are missing from the photo as they had already left or were not able to make it this evening.

Spanish Speaking Pride

A few classroom moments from this week that are must-shares:

1. The bilingual secretary uses the intercom to ask me questions frequently… you know, like, ”Did you turn in your attendance?” (I seem to forget daily so she reminds me daily :)). BUT you know how speaking over the intercom is usually a bit garbled? Like how it sounds almost as if the person is chewing food with their mouth open? Yeah, then add speaking in Spanish on top of that…

So the secretary calls down the other day (in Spanish) during my math class (about 75% Spanish speaking students) and she tells me she has reviewed my translation, that it’s ready, would I like copies made? Now she speaks really fast and I tend to break out in sweat when she calls on the intercom because there’s some serious pressure on the line here… I have a very alert audience, a.k.a. latino students. I say, ”Sip, por favor!!” She says, ”How many would you like?” and I say, ”13!” The intercom beeps off. I turn back to my class. 25% of the students are looking at me like, huh? and the other 75% break out into applause and cheers. I hold up my ”attention hand” (you know, teacher’s signal for ”be quiet right now or else I will get out the referral slips” lol) and the room hushes. I ask, ”What was that for?” and several of the Spanish speakers say in unison, ”Español!!!!

2. I signed my 13 students up for after-school math club (They know they love me for it!). Now those same 13 students who love me for thinking about their after-school activities try to sneak out of this math club whenever possible. As soon as I realized this, I began attending math club as well, just to take attendance. I was doing my attendance duties on Monday afternoon, and Yessenia says to me in español, ”How long do I have to stay for?” and I say in español, ”Until 3 just like every other day.” Another student who is not in our class overheard us and whispers really loud (trying to be subtle??), ”You speak Spanish??? But you look so white!!” Then she clamped her hand over her mouth and her eyes bugged out when she realized how disrespectful that sounded so I said, ”Tranquila. I know I’m white but white girls can speak Spanish too, right?” Yessenia asks again, this time in a different tone of voice, ”¿Por cuánto tiempo quedo, maestra?” I am confused  as to why she is asking me again, and I again answer her, ”¿Hasta a las 3, no?” Yessenia smiles and whispers to me, ”I just wanted to show her again” (Y nods toward the eavesdropper) ”that you could speak Spanish.” Yessenia smiles as I smile my understanding of the code language:

I think my students are proud that their white-girl-teacher speaks the español. ¡Esooooo!