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In Your Words - What was your most embarrassing classroom moment?


There are some red faces out there in our public schools!



After putting my kindergartners down for naptime, I was suddenly surrounded by students shaking me and saying, “Mr. Barnhill, somebody’s here. Mr. Barnhill, there’s a parent here to see you! Mr. Barnhill, WAKE UP!” I was mortified to have fallen asleep, let alone into such a deep sleep that I didn’t even hear the parent come in. Luckily, she has a great sense of humor and laughs mightily at my misadventures. Now when she calls, she asks,
“I didn’t wake you, did I?”

Jamie Barnhill
Durham, North Carolina

Back in the saddle after raising three infants, I was teaching violin lessons again. As my students unpacked their instruments, I raised up their stands. “Mommy will fix that,” slipped out of my mouth. Mortifying.

Laura Bracco
West Hempstead, New York

When a fifth grader asked if I had children, I said yes. Another boy gasped, “Does that mean you’re not a virgin!” Years later, I saw him at his high school. Apologizing for the long-ago question, he stammered, “We’d just seen a film in Health, and I just couldn’t imagine you….” My face still turns red when I think about it, especially knowing that all the kids in that class had “just seen a film in Health.”

Paula E. Drew
Randolph, New Jersey

When students need to use the bathroom, they sign out and take a pass. When a young boy asked to use the bathroom, I quickly answered, “Yes. Please sign out and take a piss.” Several students said it was the topic of dinner conversation that evening.

Beth Chaville-Fuller
Pottstown, Pennsylvania

I was handing out papers and walking from one side of the room to the next when I realized I was stepping on something—my skirt! It had fallen completely off, with 28 seventh graders as witnesses. The moral of this story: always wear a slip.

Michele Keating
Colorado Springs, Colorado

One morning I was called into sub with less than an hour to report. I dressed and dashed into my kitchen to grab a sandwich and a Diet Coke [to take] for lunch. At noon, I reached into my bag and fumbled for my soda. Cracking it open, the lounge fell silent. One teacher called out, “Rough day?” My can of Coke was actually a Bud Light!

Julie Wadsworth
Romulus, Michigan

I was perched on a high stool, teaching a group of third-grade string students. The stool collapsed, and I fell to the floor. Laying there for several seconds, I heard a whisper: “I think she’s dead.”

Stephanie Greenberg
Wayne, Pennsylvania

While standing in front of my second-grade class, a little boy blurted out, “Mrs. Timberlake, do you know you have nipples?” I stood there aghast, not sure how to respond, when he continued, “You have nipples in both cheeks when you smile.”

Laurie Timberlake
Strongsville, Ohio

 

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What three books do you think every student should read before they graduate? We’ll consider your submission for an upcoming issue of NEA Today. You can also email your submissions to clong@nea.org.

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May, 2009


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