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Uncategorized   |   Dec 5, 2008

Overheard at dismissal

By Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Overheard at dismissal

By Angela Watson

It’s the Thursday of my week for dismissal duty, which means I’ve spent the past four afternoons standing outside for twenty minutes waiting for parents to arrive. This is a mind-bogglingly dull task, unless you happen to eavesdrop on the conversations around you. A lot of pretty funny stuff can happen in eighty minutes when you’re in a school parking lot.

Child: Look, mommy, those two mens are twins!
Parent: No, they’re not.
Child: Yes, they are, they have the same [gold] teeths!

Student: Mrs. Teacher! Boy in green shirt didn’t go to tutoring!
Teacher: Um. Boy in green shirt isn’t IN tutoring.
Student: But he needs to be! He doesn’t speak any English!

Boy 1: Is that your mom’s car?
Boy 2: No, my mom doesn’t have a car.
Boy 1: Yeah-huh! She picked you up in it yesterday. It was RED!
Boy 2: No, that’s not her car. That’s her JEEP. Hel-looooo!!

Boy 1: Santa Claus is coming…to toooowwwwnnnnn!
Boy 2: Yeah, and you know who else is coming? God. He’s coming back, too.
Boy 1: What?
Boy 2 (points at sky): God is up there, but He’s coming back one day.
Boy 1: Stop pointing at God.
Girl: My mom says whenever you’re pointing at a person, three fingers are pointing back at you.
Boy 2: Yeah, it’s so rude.

Girl 1: I gotta find my lunch money for tomorrow!
Girl 2: Wait. You pay?!

Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Angela created the first version of this site in 2003, when she was a classroom teacher herself. With 11 years of teaching experience and more than a decade of experience as an instructional coach, Angela oversees and contributes regularly to...
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  1. That “wait. You pay? one would fit my school. I think I have 2 kids in my class who pay. Everyone else is free.

  2. I overheard this at breakfast in the classroom last May during our last week of school. I teach in Arizona and the recent national attention on SB1070 was at the forefront of many conversations including one in my own classroom. I teach first grade in a Title 1 school where students are clustered by English Language proficiency. Two boys in my class were discussing where they from in regards to country of origin. Both are Hispanic with Spanish as their primary language, and both tested proficient in English before entering first grade. One of the boys was identified as gifted, and the other had been retained in kinder and was really progressing in first grade. Their discussion is as follows:
    Boy 1 (gifted) – No, you’re from Mexico.
    Boy 2 – No, I’m from here (taps the desk).
    Boy 1 – No, your last name is “Lopez” so you’re from Mexico.
    Boy 2 – No, I’m from here. I have the papers! Do you?
    Boy 1 – No, I don’t, but I want them.

    This conversation touched my heart and made me realize no matter how focused I was on reading and literacy my students were dealing with much more and many fears. I will welcome a new class next week, and my goal is to make sure their needs are met and their fears calmed. Then we will able to move forward with learning. I’m so excited to meet my new class.

    1. Wow, that’s a really moving anecdote. I’ve shared that with a number of my friends and family members. You have a wonderful outlook on teaching–God bless you in your work!

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