Humor is also a way of saying something serious. - T. S. Eliot

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What I Learned From a Third Grader

I've been working nights for the last few weeks scoring essays written by children who do not speak English as their first language.  While I do get to read what a few kindergartners write, I mostly read essays written by 3rd-5th graders.  This job delights me.  I love reading what these children write about and it tickles me to no end imagining what is behind their thinking and writing.  Some kids absolutely amaze me with their writing creativity, others touch my heart as they write about the gratitude they feel towards their mothers and fathers.  Others make me laugh, while others touch off a sadness in me when they write about a sibling who drowned or a father who died. This job is ending in just a few days and I have loved doing it to the point that I even wondered if I missed a calling as a teacher.  Probably not, though.  I hear that you must teach children about history, fractions, decimals and exponents -- and, well -- I'm not the brightest bulb in the bathroom vanity when it comes to that stuff.

Anyway, here is a sampling of what these children have written under the essay topic: "Something New I Have Learned"

"First of all, I did not know how to cook, then I got a cup and I poured a smoothie into it.  Then I put my tongue inside the cup and put the cup with my tongue in it inside the freezer. 
Next, my mom saw me and said, "OH my gosh honey are you all right"!  Yes mom, I'm all right.  "What on earth were you doing"!  I was doing you a ice pop tongue freeze."

"Once I learned that sometime too much of a good thing is not a good thing.  Like my mom, she loves everything clean.  Who doesn't? But once there was a stain on the sofa she scrubbed so hard she ripped it.  Ice cream is a great thing but if you eat too much of it you will get a stomach ache, trust me.  I know.  Sometime something is so good you can't stop.  But if you don't stop something bad can happen with you."

"When I was in about 2nd grade I figured out India was in Asia.  When the teacher said INdia was in Asia I was shocked.  In my head I was like "I think this is all a big mistunderstanding."  But when I looked at the map and saw it was in Asia I knew it had to be true."

"OW!  I burned myself with hot oil on a heated pan.  First I wanted to touch the hot oil.  Then BANG! I got burned!  At the end I learned not to touch hot oil."  

"Don't put a pencil in your shoe.  1.  It will break.  2.  You will need to get a new pencil."

"Don't put your finger in a ducks mouth.  It hurts.  It was so so funny my 6 year old brother put his finger in a ducks mouth."

This next one I am going to summarize because she had so many things that she learned that's just best this way. 
This little girl learned: 
  • Not to chew my hair
  • not to go in the big freezer at the store for if someone shuts the door and you get stuck in there you will die
  • that I need to mind my own business.  
One child wrote about learning that his father was lazy. The child backed up the assertion with examples of the father playing video games all afternoon, watching TV, and refusing to help mom with the baby.  This was not an essay I I summarized.  But I did find it a bit funny. 

 And last but not least...

"I learned that you can NOT ride on a seahoers. becoes they are little an you are Big and hevi they are litelr than your pensole."


  1. I often wonder myself what is running through young ones' minds. I hope you weren't in the presents of these young authors....I would not be able to contain myself!!

  2. nope...these kiddos are in a whole different part of the country. there is a log of giggling in our room.

  3. kids do say the darndest things!! Just wait til you score a 7th graders stuff.

    Patti Nagy