No Filter

Sometimes, I need to remind my students to think before they speak.

Sometimes, I need to remind myself to think before I speak.

My kids were playing the game Apples to Apples the other day during indoor recess. For those of you who don’t know, there is a green adjective card, and everyone puts down a red noun phrase card that best matches it. (For more info, check out this old post-

At one point I noticed they were all looking at me gleefully. “Don’t be offended!” One cautioned when I asked what was behind the maniacal grins they all had. At this point I was keeping one eye on them and the other on the giant writing rubric I was using next, so I wasn’t completely focused on their antics.

“The category is ‘scary’…” There was a long pause, where they all giggled. “And someone put down ‘my teacher!'” At which point they all lost it.

I answered with the first thing that came to my mind.

“I’m not offended, that’s accurate. I am scary. I have chainsaw arms.”

Now I had the attention of every kid in the class, all loudly demanding “WHAT?!”

“Chainsaw arms.” I repeated. No turning back now.

“Do you really have chainsaw arms?” One boy asked suspiciously.

I stared at him for a minute. “Yes.” I said. I went back to my rubric. “Fair enough.” He said, and went back to his book.


Top 12 Things Your Teacher Doesn’t Want to Hear This Week

1. “There’s blood on the rug… again.” The last word is the most troubling.

2. “Why are you always eating cake?” Why are you always questioning me about my food choices, hmm?

3. “Almonds aren’t a nut, right?” Not that we have life-threatening allergies here or anything.

4. “When I grow up I want to be like Mike Tyson.” Luckily, he meant Neil Degrasse Tyson, renowned astrophysicist, not the boxer who eats people’s ears.

5. After being told that a hugging robot still needed to ask permission to hug. “Know what doesn’t need to ask? A kicking robot. You should just take the hug and be glad because it could be worse.

6. “I love talking to you. This is why I think you should give me your phone number. We could talk all the time even after school.” While a very sweet sentiment, no. Just no.

7. “I don’t think I was here for this lesson.” While referring to multiplication, which definitely was not taught in a single lesson. Or unit. Or year.

8. “I don’t know whose this is, but I’m eating it.” Which is at least better than ‘I don’t know what this is, but I’m eating it.”

9. ” Don’t forget your coffee!” After being told it was green tea, “You don’t drink coffee? I think you should. I really, really think you should. Did you know it wakes you up? You could be so much less tired! Wouldn’t that be great?”

10. “I brought in my permission slip for the field trip!” There is no next field trip this year. This was very sad news. 

11. “I don’t know which bus to take after school, but I bet if I just wander around by the buses for awhile I’ll figure it out.” Wandering through rows of giant, moving vehicles is never the best strategy. 

12. “All my problems involve cats.” How do you even respond to this?

And it’s only Tuesday!