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- https://tattooteacher.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/apples-to-apples/)
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.