Friday, October 26, 2007


MR. BOWERS: Trisha, that was a good answer, did you already know it or did you think about it?
TRISHA: (a pre-k student) I tinked it.


LESLIE: (A kid in pre-K.) Mr. Bowers, I know what catsup's made of--"
MR. BOWERS: What's catsup made of, Leslie?
LESLIE: Potatoe!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Hampster

(Taylor, a third grader, raises her hand at the beginning of class)

TAYLOR: (In a matter of fact like voice) Mr. Bowers, my hampster died!

MR. BOWERS: I'm sorry. Did you bury him in the back yard?

TAYLOR: (matter of factly) We made him this box and we put some of his toys in it and made him a little bed with some tissue...and...well it just happened this morning...(here come the tears.)

MR. BOWERS: Oh my goddness, I'm so sorry, "Yall, listen up, her hampster just died this morning!"

(Everyone kind of gives these honestly sympathetic whimpers and those sitting next to her instantly comfort her an she gets herself together)

MR. BOWERS: Hey, you know what I always do when my wife starts worring about our turtle dying someday? I just say, "(I bust out a beautiful song...) It's the circle of liiiiiiiife."

THE CLASS: Yeah, that's right!

MR. BOWERS: Taylor, did he have a good life while he was with you?


MR. BOWERS: Did you feed him and take good care of him and play with him?


MR. BOWERS: Did you ever let any cats chase him or anything?

TAYLOR: (laughing a little) NO!

MR. BOWERS: Then he had a better life than most rodents!

At this point we all laughed and this seemed to really comfort Taylor. Then we all had a really nice time interviewing each other as if we were inventors.

Not A Lazy American

During a lesson on RESPECT, I gave the following example:

"This summer my wife, my cousin and my brother in-law were in the Philippines and we went to this lake way up in the mountains. At the lake, these two Filipino dudes were selling rides across on their Banka boat; which is like a canoe. We noticed that there were 2 extra oars to row with. Now, class, what would they think about us if we didn't help them row the boat? (CLASS: That y'll were lazy!) Not just lazy, but lazy AMERICANS.

Now, see kids, in some other countries, people recognize Americans right away. The way we dress, the way we act, how we talk, how we carry ourselves...To some people, Americans are thought to be lazy--and in many ways we are! We eat too much fast food; we watch too much TV and many of us--including me--are just a little bit overweight.

We wanted to show those Filipino dudes that we weren't lazy, so we helped row the boat across the lake to the waterfall.

Now, at first it was fun, but it took us about 20 minutes and we worked very hard. We were doing our best to keep up the same pace as the man in the front of the boat. I was sweating and my arms were on fire! It was so hard!

When we got to the other side of the lake, those two guys looked at us with RESPECT because they knew how hard we had worked.

I want you to know that just like I was working hard to get some respect for my country, you have to work hard at school to get respect for yourself, and for your family! If you are lazy at school and don't behave, that reflects poorly on family and your mom and dad because it’s your mom and dad who first teach you how to behave and they are the first ones who tell you what is expected of you at school."

KAITLYN: Mr. Bowers, I went to a lake before!
MR. BOWERS: (sigh)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Greater Than/Less Than

I am teaching the 1st graders the concept of greater than/less than like in this example:


I will have the kids come up with a choice for their class like; whoever likes pizza, go on this side of the room and whoever likes spaghetti go on the other side of the room. Then the kid counts the groups and stands in the middls of the room and makes the "greater than" sign with their hands towards the larger group.

So, it's finally Kevin's turn. He is the last one. He has participated in all of the other kids' surveys and has had all this time to think of what his question is going to be.

KEVIN: Whoever likes to draw art go on this side of the room and whoever likes to run around in their underwear go on the other side of the room.

I went to the underwear side of the room which made our side have 10 to the art-sy side's 9. Underwear WINS AGAIN!

Friday, October 12, 2007

He's an Umpire!

I had this Pre-Kindergarten kid in my class who is missing his two front teeth. One of his classmates told me he was an umpire. You know, because it is close to Halloween. Get it? Because of his fangs. Get it?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Waiting for the Anger

I have come to a realization. Some kids will not cooperate with an adult until the adult becomes angry. I can ask kids politely to get quiet several times and get no cooperation, but as soon as I raise my voice and show them that I am angry, they will get quiet right away. Sometimes I will pretend to be angry just to get them quiet, then quickly return to a polite person and continue teaching. When I yell at them, they get quiet for a few minutes, then the cycle starts over again--like they forgot how mad I was a few minutes ago--and I start asking them to get quiet again nicely--until I get angry again--AAAGGGHHH!!!.

I asked some of my classes if that's how it is at home and--guess what--it is. Their parents can't beat them, so they yell at them. I told them how it was when I was a kid:

"See, when I was a kid, if the teacher or parent got mad, that usually resulted in a whoopin'. You don't forget about a whoopin' in just a few minutes. You usually remember that for the rest of the day--especially if getting a whoopin' at school meant that you would get another whoopin' when you got home. The pain and humiliation of getting a whoopin' would sometimes cause you to behave for even a few days."

Sunday, October 07, 2007

One Man Show

A first grader was actin' a fool in his class and his teacher said, "Joe, are you putting on a little one man show over there?" Another kid in the class was heard saying, "That would be a pretty boring show."

I thought it was funny. I don't know if it really is or not. Sorry if it's not.