The world around us is changing at tremendous speeds, and we, the adults, are often left behind, scratching our heads while the kids run off ahead. Let’s take a look at some hilarious real stories that show just how much our kids really know.
Adult Prejudice Is Exposed By Our Kids
Often kids point things out to us that we have conveniently overlooked or would rather not see. They can do this at moments when we least expect it and surprise us with their honest insights. A prejudice one English teacher may have held was pointed out to him, in a very amusing way, one day after he had finished his English lecture. After the teacher’s class has left, a tenth grader stayed behind to confront him:
“I don’t appreciate being singled out,” he told his teacher.
The teacher was confused, “What do you mean?”
“I don’t know what the ‘oxy’ part means, but I know what a ‘moron’ is, and you looked straight at me when you said it.”
The Pure Honesty of Kids Reveals A Lot
What is sometimes perceived of as naivety can rather be blatant honesty. Kids sometimes tell us what other adults are too scared, or polite, to share. One teacher was presented with a surprise present that told her more, perhaps, than was intended.
To her German-language students, the teacher is known as “Frau Draper.” One girl gave her a pin that she had made with the teacher’s name on it. However, the pin was not big enough to include all of the teacher’s name, so the student gave Frau Draper a badge that read FRAUD.
A kindergarten teacher experienced the honesty of her student when, during snack time, a kindergartner asked her why some raisins were yellow while others were black. As she didn’t know the answer, she asked her colleague, a first-grade teacher, if she knew.
“Yellow raisins are made from green grapes, and black raisins are made from red grapes,” her colleague clarified.
One boy said to the teacher, “Maybe that’s why she teaches first grade, because she’s just a little bit smarter than you.”
Who Are We Simplifying Our Language for?
Many of us have the habit of talking in simplified language or modifying our speech so that it can be more easily understood by children. Sometimes, this has the desired effect, but other times it can come right back at us. One teacher found her simplistic turn of phrase was interpreted in a way she may not have intended. Or, perhaps, the true meaning of her words were revealed.
“Don’t do that,” she said when one of her first graders placed a dollar bill over his eyes. “Money is full of germs.”
“It is?” he asked.
“Yes, it’s very dirty.”
“Is that why they call people who have a lot of it ‘filthy rich’?”
Another teacher found that her language came directly back to her when on the last day of the year, her first graders gave her lovely handwritten letters. As she read them aloud, she started to get teary.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m having a hard time reading.”
One of her students said, “Just sound it out.”
Our Kids Find Their Own Direction
Often, we try to guide our children in the direction we want them to go, or towards the answers we want them to provide us with. We cannot, however, control where they end up in quite the way we would like. This eighth grade teacher was taught a lesson of her own when she tried to teach her student about Pike’s Peak.
“Who discovered Pike’s Peak?” the teacher asked an eighth grader. He remained silent. “All right, here’s a hint,” the teacher continued. “Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?”
“Grant?” he asked tentatively.
“Good. Now, who discovered Pike’s Peak?”
An English teacher was given a surprise when his student gave a big thumbs-down to the autobiography he’d read. The reason the student gave was “The author talks about only himself.” It’s fair to say this is not the reason the teacher was looking for, but it is, in all its honesty, a reasonable truth.
Our Kids’ Amazing Imaginations Teach Us A Lot
Our kids never fail to astonish us with their creative imaginations. We often need them to jolt us out of our everyday routines and show us something with fresh eyes.
An English teacher was forced to reconsider his assumptions when teaching Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis to his sophomore English class. The teacher said “A man, discontented with his life, wakes up to find he has been transformed into a large, disgusting insect.”
A student thrust her hand into the air and asked, “So is this fiction or nonfiction?”
What We Say May Be Taken Literally
As adults, we often become sloppy with our language. Children are often there to remind us of what was actually said.
During a driver’s ed class, a student came up to a right turn.
“Use your turn signal,” the teacher reminded her.
“No one’s coming,” said the student.
“It doesn’t matter. It might help those behind you.”
The driver turned to the students in the backseat and said, “I’m turning right up ahead.”
In another story, when one girl had finished the English portion of the state exam, she removed her glasses and started the math questions.
“Why aren’t you wearing your glasses?” she was asked.
She responded, “My glasses are for reading, not math.”
We think that it is us, the adults, who are steering the boat and are often surprised when we look up and see our kids sitting in the driver’s seat. We have a lot to learn from our kids, and it looks like we will spend most of our adult life doing so.
Featured photo credit: Parent Map via parentmap.com