Back-to-School HumorMy fellow teacher called for help – she needed someone who knew about animals. As a science teacher, I filled the bill. “OH,” she added, “bring a net.” Expecting to find some kind of beast as I entered her classroom, I was greeted instead by the sight of excited kids watching a hummingbird fly around. Rather than use the net, I suggested they hang red paper by the open door. The bird would be drawn to it, I explained, and eventually fly out. Later, the teacher called back. The trick worked. “Now,” she said, we have two hummingbirds flying around the room.
Walking through the hallways at the middle school where I work, I saw a new substitute teacher standing outside his classroom with his forehead against a locker. I heard him mutter, “How did you get yourself into this?” Knowing that he was assigned to a difficult class, I tried to offer moral support. “Are you okay?” I asked. “Can I help?” He lifted his head and replied, “I’ll be fine as soon as I get this kid out of his locker.”
When I was 28, I was teaching English to high school freshmen in a school where occasionally the faculty and staff were allowed to dress down. One of those days I donned a sweatshirt and slacks. A student came into the class and his eyes widened. “Wow!” he exclaimed. “You should wear clothes like that every day. You look twenty, maybe even thirty years younger!
Driving my car one afternoon, I rolled through a stop sign. I was pulled over by a police officer, who recognized me as his former English teacher. “Mrs. Brown,” he said, “those stop signs are periods, not commas.”
While working in the library at a university, I was often shocked by the excuses students would use to get out of paying their fees for overdue books. One evening an older student returned two books which were long overdue and threw a fit over the outrageous $2 fee that she was required to pay. I tried to explain how much she owed for each day, but she insisted she should be exempt. “You don’t understand,” she blurted out. “I didn’t even read them!”
At the school where my mother worked, the two first-grade teachers were named Miss Paine and Mrs. Hacking. One morning the mother of a student called in the middle of a flu epidemic to excuse her daughter from school. “Is she in Paine or Hacking?” the secretary asked. “She feels fine,” said her mom. “We have company and I’m just keeping her home.”
The board of education in a nearby town sold off a building that had been a one-room school house. The buyer converted it into a tavern. One day an elderly man was walking by the place with his grandson and pointed to the building. “That’s where I went to school when I was your age.” “Really,” said the boy. “Who was your bartender?”
Danny was hard to miss at our school. A Civil War buff who forever wore his Confederate overcoat, he was a friend to all. When he was passed over during the vote for senior superlatives, many of us were disappointed; surely there must have been some category available for him. The whole school was pleased, therefore, when the yearbook advisor surprised us with an additional photo of Danny, decked out in his gray coat, with the caption: “Most Likely to Secede.”
A friend was assigned a new post teaching English to inmates in prison. Feeling nervous on his first day, he began by asking the class a basic question: “Now, who can tell me what a sentence is?”
I was teaching a life-skills class to my high school students and we were discussing the various terms one might encounter in a restaurant. I asked, “What does the phrase a la carte mean?” A student responded, “It means you’re in the wrong restaurant.”
Modified from the Reader's Digest