Saturday, March 13, 2010

One of my favorites

I have some really funny students. Today, I would like to feature one of my favorites. Since I can't use his real name on a public blog, we will call him Rudy.

Rudy is a red-headed, freckled, bespectacled young man with killer comedic timing. He sits in the front row, and I try not to look at him while I'm teaching, or I am liable to bust out laughing because he is always making an overly interested and philosophical face. Sometimes he actually nods and murmurs "mmmm hmmm" to everything I am saying. This is all an act to make me laugh of course; he is not much of a student. But man is he a great kid.

Not too long ago, I told the students that we were going to have a Reading Week in class. During that week, I would be holding individualized writing conferences with each student about his/her research paper. While I was meeting with individuals, everybody else would be reading books of their choice--fun reading books. I said, "I think you guys will really enjoy Reading Week. In the past, many of my students have said that it was a great opportunity to relax and read for pleasure, which so many of you don't have time to do anymore due to after school activities and such. So I hope you will enjoy it."

Rudy's hand shot in the air.

"Yes, Rudy?" I said skeptically (because you just never know what's going to come out of this kid's mouth).

In a very serious voice, he said, "Mrs. Nielson. I know I speak on behalf of all of us when I say, from the bottom of my heart...thank you." And he started clapping. No one joined in his round of applause because we were all too busy chuckling. I wish I had a video of the way that he said it. He is such a ham.

This week, on the day that they turned in their final research papers, I said, "I want all of you to remember that I have 110 juniors. It is going to take me a few weeks to read 110 seven-page essays, so please don't ask me 'When are we getting our papers back?' starting tomorrow, or I may be tempted to strangle you."

Everyone giggled and agreed. And then we moved on with the lesson. I was 20 minutes in to my lesson on poetry when Rudy raised his hand.

"Yes, Rudy?"

As always, his face was very serious. "I am wondering if you have our research papers graded yet," he asked.

We all burst into hysterical fits of laughter. The comedic timing was unbelievable--I had completely changed subjects, yet my warning was still fresh enough to be remembered. Luckily for Rudy, I was too amused to strangle him!

I couldn't even teach for a few minutes because every time I thought about the way that he asked the question, I would start laughing again.

Teenagers are funny. I like them a lot.


  1. What a delightful post! It's great to heard about things that you LIKE about teaching! You see? This is why you can't give it up cold turkey! xo

  2. Haha! This kid sounds like a lot of fun!

  3. i am SO glad to hear you have hams!
    teens CAN be funny. ;)
    Ryan i see is one of the funny ones!

    hey Rachel. . . have you finished grading the papers yet? :)

  4. Classic. I read that out loud to Courtlish and we both cracked up. Kids are sometimes surprisingly witty.


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