Teaching Profession

Tiny Teaching Stories: ‘I Have One! Porn!’

By Catherine Gewertz — March 03, 2020 2 min read
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The Powerful Moments of Your Lives, Distilled

We invite teachers to share their triumphs and frustrations, the hilarious or absurd moments of their lives, in no more than 100 words.

For more Tiny Teaching Stories, click here.

To submit your own story, click here.

‘I Have One! Porn!’

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One of my 1st grade teachers was working on word families. On this particular day she was exploring the /orn/ rhyme with her energetic class. Children called out words that fit: torn, born, worn. Then enthusiastic little Billy at the back of the room shot his arm up in the air and said, “Ooh, ohh, I have one! Porn!”

The teacher tried to ignore it and move on, but Billy persisted. He said, “You know, like it’s porn rain outside.” You just can’t make this stuff up.

Terri Barton
Director of curriculum & instruction
Sabina, Ohio

‘Too Young to Advertise Being Sexy’

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I started noticing clips in my students’ hair that spelled out “sexy” in rhinestones. I told them that they are queens, and too young to advertise being sexy. I had an idea, and I made them a deal they accepted. With social media’s help, I obtained 300 hairclips: cute, in bright rhinestones, saying things like Miss, Queen, Hope, Dream, Love, and Sweet. The girls traded their old “sexy” clips for the new ones. My hope is that this lesson is forever clipped to their hearts.

LaQuisha Hall
English 9, 11
Baltimore

‘That Moment Made All the Difference’

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The first year I taught high school, I had a girl named Angel in my science class. She was not doing well the first marking period, and ended with 68 percent, an F. I made her a deal: I would “give” her the 2 percent to pass the marking period, but then she owed me 2 percent the next marking period. The rest of the year, Angel worked really hard, and earned 84 percent and higher every marking period. Four years later at graduation, she hugged me and said that moment made all the difference for her staying in school.

Elissa Messinger
9-12 Math and Science
Lewisberry, Pa.

‘This Goodbye Was Special’

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Educators say goodbye to their students every year, but this goodbye was special. One of my students struggled with severe anxiety and acted out when he was overwhelmed. I worked hard to develop a relationship with him, and he became one of my favorites.

When it was time to say goodbye, I explained that I wouldn’t be returning to school next year because I needed to move back home. As I talked to him, his tears began to flow. I didn’t know until then what an impact I’d had on him. That moment reinforced why I became an educator.

Brianne McGee
2nd grade
Elkhorn, Neb.

‘Your Pants Are On Backwards’

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I was wearing my new skinny pull-on jeans. One of the students in the back, who had been doing a lot of laughing, raised his hand.

“Mrs. Wilkinson, we’re trying to figure out how to tell you your pants are on backwards!”

“Oh, no they aren’t,” I said, and modestly lifted up my long shirt just enough to show my cool jeggings. Except the butt pockets were clearly in the front.

Never have I laughed so hard at myself with 11-year-olds! No wonder the pants were uncomfortable! Humbling, indeed!

Becky Wilkinson
Counselor K-5
Leavenworth, Wa.

About This Project

Teachers’ lives are packed with powerful moments: moments of triumph, frustration, absurdity, joy, revelation, and hilarity. We want to hear about them.

Submit your Tiny Teaching Story, in no more than 100 words, here.

Edited by Catherine Gewertz

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