Overheard Students

Overheard from my 5th grader’s numeracy class today:
Student 1: I want a duck. Wait, are geese ducks?
Teacher: No, geese are different animals.
Student 2: Geese are CANNIBALS?
Teacher: No!
Student 2: I don’t want to get eaten by a goose!
Teacher: If geese were cannibals, technically they would eat other geese, so you’d be okay.
Student 2: Oh.

Student 2: What if I turn into a duck?

This is what I miss most about classroom teaching – the weird and random conversations with kids! My son’s small school has a lot of fluidity and all the kids know all the teachers and the other kids, so last September, no one sat down to a virtual class with unknown kids and unknown teachers. It allows a degree of camaraderie and sometimes even downright silliness that is completely lacking in classrooms where the students and teachers have never actually met. The community building with my eighth graders has been slow, but students are starting to have random conversations with me in private chat. It is not the same as hearing laughing, bubbly kids being exactly that – kids, even if it does disrupt class for a few minutes while everyone cracks up.

I guarantee that my son’s class will learn and remember coordinate planes. But they will also remember Student 2 and the cannibalistic geese. I wonder what my students will take away from this year?

13 thoughts on “Overheard Students

    1. Absolutely! My son is lucky to be in a small school where they mix grades (and adults) all the time, so every kid knows every adult. It has made remote learning so much easier, because the community is already there. And – we absolutely need more standards and learning targets around cannibalistic geese!

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  1. There’s so much that we don’t know about what kids will take away from this year of patchwork teaching and learning. But the brief illustration your provide lets us know that kids will continue to be kids in each others’ company, that’s the good news.

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  2. Awww…. this story. It is so true. We have moved from hybrid to virtual to hybrid to full in person. It is refreshing to see students come together with their friends and start to laugh. It is like behind the mask, I can finally see their personalities! It certainly has shown us that teachers CANNOT be replaced by robots.

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  3. That’s a good one to ask my eighth graders too… What will they remember most about this year? I haven’t met them in person, and won’t be, either. 😦

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  4. I loved this slice! I was thinking about all the random weird things that come out of my mouth during the day in response to the random weird things my students say! I worry sometimes about what parents might think if they just overhear a little snippet of my lesson. The cannibalistic geese comment is fantastic.

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  5. Amazing that you caught the “mishearing” and then the line of conversation that followed! I love this so much. The joy you spread from the post is immeasurable! Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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