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Volume 4 Number 1

Corks are popping! January is awards month in the world of children's literature. Esme Codell writes about contenders for the Caldecott award for best illustration in American children's literature, the Newbery for best writing, the Coretta Scott King award, and others...
Special Days This Month by Ron Victoria
Featured Schools
Classroom Photos by Members of the Teachers.Net Community
January Poems
A Small Collection of Poems for the New Year
The Lighter Side of Teaching
  • Classroom Chuckles
  • Goose At the Senior Center by Goose
  • Schoolies
  • Woodhead
  • Handy Teacher Recipes
    Classroom Crafts
    Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
    Teddy Bear vs. Real Bear from the Lesson Bank
    Cinnamon Bear
    Categories Bag Take Home Activity
    Here's a Little Groundhog
    Upcoming Ed Conferences
    Letters to the Editor
    Happy Ending Ahead
    "Art" & "Craft" How they are alike and how they differ by MaryAnn Kohl
    We get the best kids these parents have... from the Second Grade Mailring
    January Columns
    January Articles
    January Informational Items
    Gazette Home Delivery:

    Teachers.Net Humor Chatboard...
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    The Lighter Side of Teaching

    Here at Teachers.Net we realize that laughter is the best medicine, and we've got your prescription filled! Visit our Classroom Humor Chatboard and combat classroom stress by enjoying the smiles that make teaching so rewarding.

    © John P. Wood for
    Learning Laffs  

    Goose At the Senior Center
    by Goose/TX (

    "I've got two cornbreads and three rolls left, the dumplings are getting low, and folks are lined up to the corner." It had all of the appearances of the dreaded slam!

    "We've got three to-go orders, I need some Styrofoam cups and lids for the soup. Where are those containers for the deserts?"

    "Roll or cornbread, soup or salad, we have cream of corn soup with ham. I think that Bell stayed up late squeezing the cream out of the corn so that it would be fresh today. I don't know about the cream of ham, she must have chased down a few pigs."

    "Hey, did these rolls come from H.E.B.?"

    "Jenny, could you check on the cornbread, I'm about out."

    "Could I have more dumplings if I don't take a salad?"

    "Hi, Ms. Eeds. Where were you last Friday?"

    "Well, I wasn't at home with a good-looking man. In fact I wasn't at home with any man--he wouldn't even have to be good-looking!"

    "We've got another to-go."

    "Give me a lemon with my tea; it fits my personality."

    "Hey, is this good for my prostate?"

    Howdy, I'm Craig Hunter, Ms. Bell's steam table boy at the Seniors' Center, except on Fridays when Jerry takes over. Two months ago, I didn't know what a steam table was or what a person would use one for if he owned one. However, sometime during the month of October, I decided that I would venture out into the friendly town of Lockhart in search of somebody needing assistance with exposing innocent folks to the confounding realm of computers and ended up behind a steam table with an apron wrapped around me, a ladle in my hand, and a long line of hungry folks on the other side of the table.

    After attempting to educate fourteen-year-olds for twenty-nine years, I retired at the welcomed conclusion of the previous school year. My wife and I moved here in August from north of Amarillo where we had both lived for most of our lives. The small town that we lived in had one flashing yellow light, but it was red on two sides. To us, Lockhart is the city.

    After settling in, playing golf, checking out the green houses, playing more golf, planting several bushes and trees, playing more golf, unpacking enough boxes so that we could fit both cars into the garage, and playing more golf, I decided that I should become a volunteer. At our previous residence, I was involved in an "Adopt A Highway" project which required a friend and me, along with my wife, to pick up trash along the highway. My students would see me wearing an orange vest, walking along the highway, picking up trash, and ask me what I gotten into trouble for that was causing me to partake in community service. I attempted to explain to them that I wasn't in trouble, and that we were just cleaning up the highway because we wanted to. They were unable to comprehend a person exerting himself without compensation and concluded that I had gotten into trouble for robbing the local "Live Bait" store or some similar offense.

    In my pursuit of a volunteer position involving computers, I first visited the Chamber of Commerce. After I explained my intentions, they directed me to the city offices where I obtained more information concerning a computer position at the Seniors' Center. From the city offices, I headed out with great expectations of delving in the computer assistance world.

    Upon my arrival at the Seniors' Center, I was politely greeted by three members to whom I began explaining my interest in assisting with the computer classes. They informed me that the lady I needed to consult was occupied at the moment but that she would be available in about twenty minutes.

    Suddenly, a frantic lady briskly appeared and emphatically exclaimed, "I'm two volunteers short, and there's no way I can serve lunch without any help!"

    Being as I had to wait twenty minutes anyway, I curiously asked, "What do you need help with?" She momentarily hesitated, kind of gave me the once over, and hastily replied, "I need you to run the steam table."

    "What's a steam table?"

    "Come on, I'll show you everything you need to know!"

    Thus was my humble inauguration into Ms. Bell's elite, efficient, and enduring food-servicing team.

    Classroom Chuckles
    From the Humor Board

    Is this school or church?

    Today I was quizzing my Kindergartners on money recognition. One of my students eagerly identified the penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. When she looked at the dollar bill, she froze. As I pointed to the dollar, I asked her, "And what is this?" She studied it for a moment and said that it was money. So I asked her, "But what is it called?" She quickly replied, "Offering!" We thought this was both cute and sweet!


    Teaching a four-year-old class a few years back we stood to do the Pledge. The assistant and I were both proud they had learned the words so well. As we came to the part "with liberty and justice for all" we heard one little boy say proudly and loudly, "with liberty and just Rock n Roll."


    I had a similar incident with a foreign student in one of my classes. We were at a sports activity where the national anthem was being sung. After the song was finished, I asked him a few questions about his own country's anthem. One of the questions I asked was if he knew who wrote their anthem. He said he did not know but he thought it was rather odd to address our national anthem to only one individual. Since this confused me, I asked him to explain. He said, "Why do they ask Jose if he can see anything. Was Jose the person who was with the author when he wrote the anthem?" HONEST

    Introduction To Cursive Versus Foreign Language

    My wife and I are teachers. We have two children. When my daughter was in the first grade, she was anxious to learn how to write in cursive, since she had mastered "printing." I arrived home one day and was astonished at how intently Leah was looking at the television screen. A woman was speaking in Spanish, and Leah was cocking her head back and forth. Suddenly, she turned to me and said, "Dad, it sure is hard to hear in cursive!" Leave it to our children to brighten up our days!


    What an adorable story! We had the opposite happen. . . a young student was attempting to read some cursive handwriting. When he realized that he could not decipher it, he commented that he could not read Spanish!

    "You still don't know how to do that?"

    Yesterday I was telling my Kinder Kids that I would not be with them on Thursday and Friday. You know how you have to talk to them ... keeping it simple, I explained that "On Thursday I have to go to a meeting to help plan ways to make the new kindergarten children feel good about coming to Kindergarten next year. And on Friday I'm going to college to learn more about how to teach children to learn to read." One of my little quickies piped up ... "You still don't know how to do that?"

    Spell Checker Blues

    Spell Checker Blues
    (source unknown)

    Eye halve a spelling chequer
    It came with my pea sea
    It plainly marques four my revue
    Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

    Eye strike a key and type a word
    And weight four it two say
    Weather eye am wrong oar write
    It shows me strait a weigh.

    As soon as a mist ache is maid
    It nose bee fore two long
    And eye can put the error rite
    Its rarely ever wrong.

    Eye have run this poem threw it
    I am shore your pleased two no
    Its letter perfect in it's weigh
    My chequer tolled me sew.

    New Baby GIrl

    5 year old Stephaine went to visit her new baby sister in the hospital last night. When talking to her today about it, she said that "It's a girl, but it doesn't have a pony tail."


    When I was teaching preschool in Iowa over 3 years ago, I had a little preschooler come up to me and tell me he wasn't going to get chickenpox (we just had a big outbreak at the center). I asked him "Why not?" to which he stated, "I can't get the chickenpox because I got my rooster shots!" I said, "You mean, your booster shots, right?" He said, "No, my rooster shots, so I don't get the chickenpox, silly!"

    Don't you love the mind of a 4-year old! I swear I'm not making this up. It was very cute and funny all at the same time (and he may be a stand-up comedian someday!).

    Absent students

    While head lice are fairly common at our school, we try to keep it quiet when a child has them. While taking roll in second grade, my friend called a girl's name who was absent. Her neighborhood buddy piped up, "Josie, isn't here. She has dead lice."


    I teach in a departmentalized elementary school. After changing classes one morning, I realized that several of my second graders were missing. Upon asking the other students where the students in question were, one of my children piped up, "They won't be here today, they gots head LIGHTS!'

    "Picture Day"

    It was class picture day. We had just come in from recess and were getting ready for pictures. I was spending my time with a handful of combs, fixing hair. One kid said to me, "Ms. Lee, you are doing a great job fixing everyone's hair. When are you going to fix your own?"

    I'm out of my mind!

    We have been studying fairy tales for the last two months and one of the culminating activities is creating a story wall. Within a group of 6 or 7 students, they have to create 5x8 index cards with the title, characters, setting, problem, solution and summary of the fairy tale. One student approached me after he had completed the 'problem' part and before he attempted the 'solution' and said to me, "Mrs. Hamburger, I'm out of my mind!" "Why are you out of your mind honey?" I asked. He replied to me in a very serious voice, "Mrs. Hamburger, I used it all up on the 'problem', I'm out now and I can't do the solution!" I laughed so hard I could hardly contain myself!

    Movie Star

    One of my fellow 1st grade teachers shared this at lunch...
    One of her students came up to her and said, "Mrs. Dickey, you look like a movie star!"
    Flattered, Mrs. Dickey said, "Which one sweetheart?"
    The student said, "Mrs. Doubtfire."

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    © John P. Wood for
    Learning Laffs