Fourth grade teacher Joe Dombrowski at Oakland Elementary School in Royal Oak, Mich., had a kick fooling his students with a bizarre spelling test for an early April Fools’ prank on Wednesday.
“Speekuzslm. ‘Look there’s a speekuzslm, S-P-E-E-K-U-Z-S-L-M-N ... There’s silent letters at the end of that one,” Dombrowski said matter-of-factly, as he spelled out one of his 10 made-up words, while managing to keep a very straight face.
Dombrowski went through his list of strange words that had his students baffled. It’s hard not to laugh as the 9- and 10-year-old students mutter and express confusion as he reveals each oddly spelled word—clearly not on the spelling list they studied.
Silent letters and even a “u” with an umlaut (ü) had students in disbelief at the words they were attempting to figure out as their teacher went about the spelling test like any other. Dombrowski caught the entire prank on camera and after sharing on Facebook, the playful teacher went viral.
Here’s the rest of Mr. Dombrowski’s April Fools’ spelling list:
- Blorskee: “I lost my blorskee at the carnival.”
- Tangateen: “I eat my spaghetti with a tangateen.”
- Speekuzslm: “Look there’s a speekuzslmn!”
- Wazamata: “Wazamata with you?”
- Slipert: “Be careful when you’re sleeping, there might be a slipert in your house.”
- Chchch: “The horse was angry so I said, ‘chchch.’”
- Rol-aska-tox: “Rol-aska-tox was surprised when jinx took the crown.”
- Speenuch: “My favorite food is speenuch and artichoke dip.”
- Shabolaskp: “Be careful you do not catch shabolaskp.”
- GÜRRR: “My friend told me a secret and I said, ‘GÜRRR!’”
With a straight face, Dombrowski managed to get through the entire list until he finally broke out into a scheming grin: “Your next word is “APRIL FOOLS,” because this is an April Fools’ joke!” he said, as incredulous students shouted back in surprise and laughter.
“Congratulations, turn in your tests. This will be on your report card,” Dombrowski jokingly retorted.
April is National Humor Month, a little laughter can help students and teachers relieve some stress.
Teachers, have you ever pranked your students? Tell us about it in the comments.
More on ideas for April Fools’ Day and beyond: A Month of Classroom Laughs
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.