Classroom Conversations: Beginning a Teaching Year

I have now spent three days back at school. As I reflected back on those first days with sixth, seventh, and eighth graders (and a few high schoolers that came down the hall to visit) this evening, I smiled and even laughed out loud at some of the conversations that have already taken place.

" I really know that I could draw this so much better if I could use that cool extra fine black Expresso pen I saw on your desk!" ( After letting him use it I think he was right.)
" I really want to read this book that has lots of stories about wolves... but can you just ask me questions about one story? I may forget some stuff with this many facts and this many stories in one book." ( Of course.).
"How did you know I wasn't reading? What? You really do have eyes on the back of your head?" as he peered a bit closer. (smile)
While writing a story a new student asked," Is having a guy bring a big gun in and shoot all the people in a bank before he steals the money too violent for you?" ( before I could say a word most of my students replied, "Yes... she doesn't allow violence to that degree!).
" What is that "s" word we can't say in this class again?" ( A voice next to her whispered "shut up".)
When having a discussion about respect one student raised his hand and with all seriousness replied, " I think you should always say excuse me when you fart in class." (" I agree"I said, trying not to laugh.).
" Since it's my birthday could I have a day off from schoolwork? (stern look) Well... it was worth a try." ( "Happy Birthday... now begin writing.")
" Here teacher... .I drew this picture just for you. " ( smile)
" Do I have to read my book today?" ( "No, you don't have to... you get to. It is a privilege to be able to go to a big shelf of books and pick any one you want to read.")

and at least once the first week I always hear, " Are we going to do anything in here today?"
"No... we are going to do everything today... and if we don't get to everything thank goodness there is tomorrow and the next day. Aren't you glad you are ready to learn?" (smile)


  1. Oh, yes, I remember well all those kids absent for a day who would come back and ask, "Did we do anythign in class yesterday?"

  2. Ahhhhh....that's a great post =)

  3. I like the voice whispering 'shut up!'. hahaha Don't you love middle school???

  4. Fun quotes--I bet you have lots of great stories from the trenches to share!

  5. Love the post. You've captured the true essence of teaching! Love those kids!!!!!



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