Another in my (very) occasional series of observations on the kids I teach - with names changed to protect the innocent (that would mostly be me!). The kids I teach are all aged 5 & 6.
I was reminded of this one by a round robin email I was sent today called "Why Teachers Drink". It was a series of exam questions with what purports to be the real answers kids gave. One of them was as follows:
Q - Explain why phosphorous trichloride (PCI3) is polar.
A - God made it that way.
I'm inclined to believe that one really is a real answer, because I got almost the same one from a child the other week. We were reading a book - part of a reading scheme that those in the UK will recognise if I mention the names Bi.ff, Ch.ip and Kip.per. I'm disguising the names because . . . well imagine a kid doing a search on his or her favourite characters and ending up HERE!
Anyhow, it was all about the central characters going back in time to Victorian London. On the front cover we see the protagonists and a London city scene, complete with a good 'ol pea-souper behind them. We had talked about the whole no-electricity thing, about real fires and gas lamps.
So I asked the group, "Why is the sky a funny colour? Why is it not the same colour as the sky we see outside just now?". To which I got the answer, "Because it was Victorian times and God made the sky a different colour then?". When I told my teaching partner, it led to a rather silly discussion on whether God might have colour-coded the centuries and if we were to hop in a time-machine we might be able to chart our course by the changing hues of the sky.
But the best ever response during a reading session was from one child in response to another. We were reading a very short encyclopedia of dinosaurs, with the names phonetically spelled to help the children sound them out. One child was struggling over ankylosaurus - "an - ki . . . ", "ank - ilo . . ." and then gave out a mighty sneeze, "ATISHOO!". To which the wee girl opposite, quick as a flash, came back, "Well, that's a funny name for a dinosaur!". It took me a while to recover my composure.
I really do love my job!
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