Classroom Curiosities XIII

The hardest thing about being a teacher is keeping a straight face when the children say something unintentionally funny. This week’s round-up induced some eye twitching on my part:

I had my first wardrobe malfunction at work this week.

I had started the day feeling optimistic. I was chuffed that I could still squeeze into my tailored chinos from six years ago. I boarded the MRT (train) and arrived at work without incident.

Then disaster struck. I bent down to grab some booklets and felt a sudden release. My button had popped off my trousers, and worse, the zip had derailed.

I began to panic. I pulled my shirt down and fumbled towards the chair to grab my scarf. I picked up the stapler and began frantically firing. The material was too thick, and now I had metal sticking into me.

I suddenly remembered the CCTV camera in the corner and cursed my choice of clothes. I tried fashioning a belt from tinsel pipe liners, but everything remained gaping open.

I had a brainwave: I discreetly asked the receptionist for the first aid kit and raided it for a safety pin. Just one pin managed to hold up my sari while I danced in India, so surely it would save me now.

No, as soon as I sat down, it bent before pinging open. I shoved the scarf through the belt loopholes but it was too thick and bulged like a strange trunk from under my top. It was the eleventh hour and I had no time to go shopping. I asked my closest allies what to do. Tom sensibly suggested a bulldog clip. This is what my family offered:


Yasss Queen
Back home, the Queen just celebrated her 92nd birthday. One of the kids in my class told me I was a queen, and instead I immediately envisaged RuPaul. I went with it.

I asked the class where I would live if I were a queen. What would I wear? Would I have to put on my own socks? We practiced the royal wave together.

I showed them two stamps of the Queen that I’d attached to postcards before coming to Singapore, one as a young royal and a more recent portrait. When I asked what I would wear on my head, one of the boys shouted out, “A clown!”

Groped by ghosts
This picture appeared in The Tickle Ghost:

Healthy lifestyle
We had a discussion on what snacks were good for our health and which should only be considered treats to eat every once in a while. Of course, some of my pupils refused to sway from their beloved crisps. Others said they loved vegetables, but then one girl said she likes to eat vegetables without the vegetables. My favourite comment was by one student who declared, “I love eating flute.” I checked he still had some teeth left.

The Phantom is back20180412_204430

A new motto
My reading class learnt that ‘s’ can sound like /z/ sometimes. The word busy was a great chance for me to introduce the simile, as ‘busy as a bee.’ However, one child decided to improvise and interrupted our class effort. He thought it was ‘busy as a boozy.’ I feel that this would be somewhat less productive.

Finally, my positive energy can sometimes be misinterpreted by the students. Take this narrative title for example:


That’s it for this week. As always, I invite you to share your favourite classroom moments in the comments below!


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