Memorable Moments in Teaching
By: Marie Lardino
During my second year of teaching at Lord Lansdowne Public School, I made my usual rounds and approached each member of the class, checking for homework completion. Terry, who usually sat on his own to avoid disruptions, never did his homework. Before I could ask him where his homework assignment was, he beat me to the punch: “Ms. Lardino”, he said, “did I ever tell you that you have a wonderful smile?”
Although I have always taught a non-religious curriculum, one day my grade six class wanted to talk about ‘why it was that some people were Jewish and some were Christian. I spoke about the day when Jesus, who was Jewish, was put to the cross. I explained that following his death, he was believed to have “resurrected” from the grave by those who believed he was their prophet. Belief in his 'resurrection' meant that his followers became (and stayed) Christians. Some people did not believe this, so they remained Jewish. I asked if anyone had any comments. Aaron put up his hand. He said, “I get it. It all changed after Jesus Christ’s ‘erection’. The whole class responded with a loud, "AAARON!!! At which point he looked around the room and came back with an innocent...."Oooops!"
One of the boys in my grades 4 and 5 class came in late from lunch on a rainy day. When he came in to the class he seemed flustered. Anticipating that he would get in trouble, he made sure to make this excuse: “ I’m really sorry Ms. Lardino. I ran to school after lunch in the rain and now my SOCKS are soaked to the BONE”.
In my grade 6 class at Downtown Alternative Public School, one of the boys always had an excuse for everything. While taking up the math homework, I realized that he had done none of it. I said “Kyle, where is your math homework?” He was quick to answer, “I would have done it Ms. Lardino. But my dad left for China yesterday and he packed my textbook in his suitcase by mistake.”
During a Geography test at Balmy Beach Public School I asked the kids to fill in all the countries in South America on the world map. One of the boys labelled one of the countries as “Papador”. I spoke to him privately and told him that maybe he meant “Paraguay”. He said, “That’s right. I’m glad you knew this Ms. Lardino cause now I don’t have to explain my answer”.
All these kids turned out to be successful (highly articulate) adults!