Kids are some of the sweetest beings in the world. Their tendency to be genuine and non-judgmental is one of the best things about them. We could all learn from them. Kids are also usually quite straightforward and share everything without reservations. Read on to hear what teachers say were some of the most unexpected things that kids shared at school. Sweet, hilarious, insightful, shocking, and sad—these stories have it all.
1. When The Kids Are Asleep
A second or third-grade student was always tired and falling asleep in the class. The teacher asked her what the problem was, and the kid said that her parents were really noisy with each other after she went to bed, and it kept her up. She had to explain to the child gently and patiently, “Your parents are busy looking after you when you’re awake, so if they want to play or have fun they have to wait until after you go to bed.”
The kid must have told her parents what she had learned, because the teacher said that in the next parent-teacher interview, the mother was beet-red from embarrassment in the meeting.
2. That Hurts!
I used to do science programming for kids. In the middle of a library summer reading program, I picked a little girl, probably about 4-5 years old, to come up and be my volunteer for a magic trick, which then you explained the science of after it was done. I asked what her name was. She said it into the mic with zero shyness in front of approximately 200 kids and adults.
I asked if she had ever heard of the “trick” we were going to do and she said, “Nope! My favorite dinosaur is a triceratops! And I like your shoes! My dad is back there. HI, DAD! But, my mom couldn’t come tonight because she got a shot in her bottom and can’t sit on the hard chairs this place has.” The audience couldn’t stop laughing.
We were talking about calling for help and what a real emergency is. This is tricky with 10-year-olds because you want to use real emergency examples but not freak them out either. One kid came up with a good question when she asked, “So, if your mom gives birth in the kitchen, that’s an emergency, right?” Sure enough, mom picked him up with his baby brother who was born last week in their kitchen.
4. Family Planning
Zoom school has made some of our classroom parents all too aware of what their kindergarteners are telling us. One child said she was going to have a baby brother, then another volunteered that she wanted a baby brother but would probably never get one because her mom said she didn’t want to have another kid ever again. Her dad was in the background doing something else but turned toward the camera when he heard that and locked eyes with me all red-faced and wide-eyed.
5. What’s Mine Is Yours
My daughter’s kindergarten teacher told me about how one child entertained them at Show and Tell by being extra generous and welcoming. When it was their turn, they regaled the whole class with a complete report on the new alarm system in their house. This was a report, of course, including the code and where the keypad was located behind the curtains!
6. Hear The Music
I had a girl stay for some help after school one day. At the time I was teaching geometry to the 10th grade in a mostly Hispanic school. She told me about growing up in Peru until about the age of 10 or so. She was telling me that she worked with her uncle sometimes on the weekend. I asked what kind of work they did—many of our kids worked construction with their families.
“He’s a clown…I’m his DJ.” That really gave me a smile.
7. Feeling Bubbly
I taught the son of a 2nd-grade teacher. He came in one weekend talking about drinking lots of “kid beer” over the weekend at his dad’s house. I had to mention it to his mother, of course. So, when his mom stopped by later and I mentioned the story to her. She simply shook her head and said, “It’s apple juice, I keep telling his dad to stop calling it kid beer!”
8. A Good Grilling
I was always ten minutes early when coming into the virtual classroom. I had a student who, when they came early into the said virtual room, mentioned several days in a row making food on their Traeger grill. I was impressed, especially when they made bread in it! Then the kid mentioned that their oven is broke. I thought their dad was a true grill master for almost two weeks.
9. Playing With Fire
On a class field trip to the fire department, I once had a chronic blurter patiently raise her hand as the fireman went around and answered questions. While pointing at the fire pole, she shared with the entire group, including several parent volunteers, that her “Mommy and daddy have one of those in their bedroom.” She followed it up with the reassurance that she “isn’t allowed to play on it.”
10. Daddy’s Coming Home
When my son was in kindergarten, he told the teacher that he was thankful that Thanksgiving that his dad was coming home from the Marines. So, his teacher contacted my wife and asked if she wanted to set up some kind of a surprise where I would show up to their class. My wife was like, “Um, who do think has been picking him up from school every day?”
Now, mind you I was in the Army not the Marines and I had gotten out a few years before he was even born. So, why did he say this? When we asked him why, he told the teacher that he said he forgot.
11. That One Cousin
I was walking a new student to IT and they happily shared the story of his plump cousin who was wanted by the sheriff because he’s behind in his child support. The plump cousin is plump because he drinks energy drinks and not water. He also doesn’t pay child support because he doesn’t like kids. Said cousin also smells a bit like cheese and his feet have long toenails.
The student kept going along this line and saying things so on and so forth until we arrived at the IT office.
12. No Show
During virtual learning, at a time of day where we would just give the kids a little time to talk to each other after lunch, one boy was telling another boy how his dad had hooked up his iPad to the TV so he could watch videos or something like that. These kids are kindergarteners. He said to the other boy, “Has your dad ever done that?”
That’s when the second boy spilled all the tea: “No. My dad definitely can’t do that. My dad never comes to pick me up. He never even watches me.” Now obviously this was terrible and such a heartbreaking thing to hear, but what was so amusing was just his innocence and candidness as a five-year-old kid. He just came right out and aired it all out.
And again, this was virtual learning, so this kid’s poor mother was in the background yelling “J*****!!! STOP IT!! DON’T SAY THAT!” She was horrified. It was sad to hear, but also so funny to hear him just be so straight up with it in front of a class of 25 kids and 2 teachers.
13. That Animal Instinct
I used to have a small farm with the usual farm animals. I also went to schools and brought along animals and educated the various classes on animal care, etc. I always invited elementary school classes to come and take a tour of the farm. This would entertain the children. Every year the teachers took me up on the offer. At the time, I also had several animals up in the house, including a few squirrel monkeys.
One of them was really, really old and she had no teeth. A young boy in the second grade was laughing and playing with that older monkey while I talked to the class that surrounded the monkey cages. The old monkey was ‘gumming’ his finger and he couldn’t stop laughing. Finally, the little boy said, “Hey, Jacob, come here and let her bite you….it feels just like grandma!”
And, while showing them the possum I was bottle feeding back to health, a little boy said he had a bunch of them in his bedroom closet.
14. Santa’s In The House
A kid in one of my classes told me that they learned that Santa isn’t real, and in fact, it’s actually their parents eating the milk and cookies. But, as they said, “It’s not right they have to make the milk and cookies and eat it. They cook for me and I eat what they cook. So, I learned how to make cookies and also pour milk now!” So wholesome!
They told me they have a younger sibling, and they’re going to keep making milk and cookies for “Santa” until their sibling gets older, and then they’ll teach them how to do it too!
15. The (Almost) First Words
I worked in an inclusive preschool for a bit, and many of our students were either nonverbal or limited verbal. We brought in green limeade with snack one day, and one of the little boys, who could barely speak twenty words, shouted “IT’S A MARGARITA!” at the top of his lungs. It was the first full sentence he had ever said.
It was amazing, and we laughed so hard, and he loved it. His verbal abilities started rapidly increasing afterward. But we all knew what mommy did at home. If your limited verbal child can name a margarita, that means they’re seeing a LOT of margaritas.
16. Uncle’s Extended Stay
My sister works in a primary school in Wishaw, which is a pretty rough part of Scotland. Once, as usual after a weekend, she said to the children, “Good morning, children! How was everyone’s weekend?” A kid piped up, “Ma Uncle is staying wi us.” The teacher, of course, responded with something like, “Aw, that’s nice!” The kid wasn’t finished and completed their tidbit by saying, “Aye, he’s hidin fae the Polis!”
17. Cuffing It Up
This kid was, at the time, probably around only 9 years old. Her parents had their own bathroom and she had been poking around in there. Because, of course, kids do that kind of stuff. As she poked around, she found a pair of handcuffs. Because she was a child, she just assumed that it had to have something to do with her dad’s job.
When she thought back on this memory as a teenager, it immediately occurred to her that her father was not a cop, and he did not work security either.
18. A Doughy Story
I was teaching the first grade in Central America and in the lunch line, one of the boys saw me pay with what looked like a lot of cash. He looked up at me and said, “My dad has a lot of cash too. He keeps it in boxes in his closet.” I actually had a decent relationship with his dad and told him about the comment. He just looked at me with a smile and called it go money.
19. A Relaxing Weekend
I was asked what I did with my dad over the weekend. I said, “Nothing. All dad did all weekend was sit in bed drinking and sleeping. He didn’t do anything else all weekend.” What I didn’t tell my teacher was that my father was sick all weekend and needed bed rest and juice/water. The teacher reasonably assumed my dad had drinking issues and a call went home to confirm everything was alright.
20. Stepdaughter’s New Clothes
My stepdaughter is a pretty difficult child. She is diagnosed with ADHD and ODD and my significant other and I think she is probably FASD as well. Me and her butt heads like no other! Well, it got to the point where she refused to wear any other clothing than what seemed like just three shirts and I was getting sick of arguing with her.
So, when her teachers noticed that there was some dirt on one of the shirts (because I am not doing her laundry every three days), they asked her about it, and she told them we didn’t own a washing machine. She had been going to this school for almost four years by this point. The teachers called me to ask if everything was ok financially and so I informed them that we did indeed have a washing machine.
21. It Happened One Night
Once a super quiet tenth grader, whom I probably heard speaking only twice in the entire year, proclaimed that she was the product of a one-night stand. I was shocked that she spoke out in class and with what she said too. So, of course, I said, “What?” She went on to explain that her mom was under the influence at a bar and got impregnated in some guy’s car. After she stopped sharing all the family secrets, the entire class looked at me and I just said, “Thank you for sharing.”
Education programs do not prepare you for those moments.
22. My Way Or The Highway
I had a student who was an absolute terror. He bullied the other students and constantly disrupted lessons. His mother was just as bad. She would routinely stop by to “visit” my classroom and would sit there and give me the stank eye. Then she would go to the principal with made-up stories of my inability to teach and/or my bias against her son. She would call meetings with district-level administrators and rail against me for hours.
One day, I was asking my students if they could write down their addresses for a class project we were doing. “The Terror” gave me an address that is different from the one we had on record. In fact, the address was in the next town 15 miles away. What he didn’t know was, he’d just revealed his mother’s secret. He and his mother had moved nine months earlier but had neglected to register in their new school district (as is required).
I notified my principal and the next day “The Terror” was gone. The icing on the cake was that Terror Mom was sued by our school district for the loss of funds during that 9-month period.
23. Sleeping Tight
I work with preschool and elementary-aged kids, so I hear a lot of things. The one that comes to mind: I was meeting with a preschool child and her parent. The child was drawing a picture with crayons while I talked with the mother. Out of nowhere, the kid looked up from her drawing and loudly declared, “Mommy sleeps in her bed without clothes!”
I expected the mother to be embarrassed. Instead, without missing a beat, she looked at her daughter and firmly said, “What did I tell you? Don’t tell other people about my business!”
24. Bigger Things On The Mind
I worked at a summer daycare when I was 18. I asked a 7-year-old child why her mom didn’t pack her lunch like she did every day. I thought that maybe the mom was out of town and the dad had forgotten. She replied, “My mom had surgery on her chest to make it bigger and she forgets a lot of things.” She even pointed at the area in question in case I didn’t know what she was talking about. I was speechless.
25. Sensitive Stomachs
I’m a full-time nanny to two girls who are seven and ten. One day, I arrived at work and the ten-year-old answered the door and let me in. The first thing she says to me when she sees me is, “Mom is upstairs in the bathroom. She’s been in the bathroom all night and all morning! She ate something that really messed her up!”
I laughed and pretty much expressed myself as “oh no.” All the while, I couldn’t help thinking that I was glad her mom was upstairs and didn’t hear her tell me that information! Things came full circle though. This happened recently when I had a bathroom emergency after I got back to their house from picking them up from school.
I couldn’t help thinking about how they were probably going to tell their parents all about it. Both girls have a serious tattling problem.
26. A Wet Blanket
I was an elementary librarian, and I was telling the kids how they mustn’t get the books wet or take them in the bath, as the pages would get wrinkly and destroyed. One kid stood up and said, very sweetly, “My mom says she finally found a good lotion for wrinkles, maybe we could put that on the books?”
27. That Famous Relative Story
I worked at a summer camp one year where campers were continuously coming in and out. I had this cute girl as one of my campers one day. She was very peppy and talkative. She told me all about how she got VERY expensive presents for her past birthdays from her uncle. Of course, I smiled and said, “Oh, that’s nice of your uncle.”
She then said, “Yep. He made a lot of money.” I went ahead and politely asked, “Oh? And what does he do for work?” She replied, “He’s a teacher… no, wait, that was just pretend. He acted as a teacher in a movie. You’ve probably seen him before.” I laughed a little and smiled at her and asked, “Oh yeah? What movie is he in?” I absolutely was not prepared for her answer:
She looked at me point blank and said “Harry Potter. My uncle is Professor Snape…or, he used to be before he passed…The cast was at the funeral. Emma Watson is really nice.” That day was such a haze, I barely remembered anything until I got home and remembered that interaction again and thought, “What in the world?”
I still can’t remember WHO I interacted with. Her dad picked her up but to this day I’m not sure who I met. I’m not sure if it was one of Alan Rickman’s brothers or a sibling of his wife, but it’s the closest I’ve come to meeting a celebrity.
28. Free Jollies
The kids in class were talking about how expensive the local theme park was to get into. One of the kids said that his dad had shown him how to go through the stormwater drains to get in for free. He then said that it’s OK, because his dad said it wasn’t wrong to do so. So, the whole class should go there for free some time.
29. Cooler Than Thou
My dad is a law enforcement officer and in first grade during a “my dad is cooler than your dad” argument, I told a few kids in class that my dad had been shot. We had so many bouquets and casseroles and letters of condolences delivered to our door that night. My dad thought it was hilarious and was stoked that my mom’s best friend brought over his favorite lasagna.
However, my mom wrote a big letter to my teacher the next morning saying that he was, in fact, very much alive.
30. Smashing It!
My youngest son had just started school and the teacher was asking what their parents did for work. My son said, “My dad breaks into houses and smashes them up.” The teacher then rang my wife to ask if everything at home was ok. They, then, told my wife about my son’s comment. I had to clarify that, “No, son, your dad works in demolition. That’s all.” One year on and it still feels awkward going to his school.
31. Skimming It
I had an eighth-grade student whose father ran for—and won—the local political office. It was either the city council or something like that, I don’t remember exactly. We were talking about elections in the class, and she raised her hand and mentioned that her dad won his recent election. The problem was, she kept going—and said too much.
She added the gem “and he was accused of something called embezzlement, but he didn’t do that, he only used campaign money to pay for stuff for our family.” I wanted to tell her that uh, that’s what embezzlement is, but I didn’t say that. I just gave her a generic “very interesting thanks for sharing” and quickly moved on.
32. Wash It All Down
This kid in my class told everyone in the class that his dad dips his bacon in a glass of water during breakfast and calls it bacon water, and drinks it on most of the mornings. The kid was just talking up a storm even before he said this, and no one was really listening until then. However, then the whole class turned their heads and was like what?!!
This kid had NO idea that bacon water was not a staple of most people’s breakfasts. It was hands down the funniest moment of my teaching career.
33. Striking Gold
A family friend of mine is a CEO of a fairly large company. His daughter was in the fake stock trading club at her school, and she bought a bunch of stock in his company. The teacher, not knowing that her dad owned the said company asked why she had bought those shares. So, she revealed to the teacher that they had plans to be bought out by a much bigger company in the field.
The Dad had to talk with the teacher after class and warned her that it would be insider trading if she acted on the words the daughter had said. Enough said.
34. Excuse My Manners (Or Not)
I was in the eighth-grade science class. My teacher knew my mom as she was a teacher in the district too and was also in leadership roles throughout the years. My mom, being from the south, is quite proper when outside of our home. Anyway, one day I burped really loudly in class by accident and my teacher said, “What would your mother say?”
I replied, “Oh, it’s ok. We have burping contests at the dinner table.” My teacher laughed out loud, and must have told my mom at some point, because she later came to me and said she couldn’t believe I said that to her. Still a story we tell today, some thirty years later.
35. Say Cheese!
I was the mom on a field trip to the police station with my adopted son. I was friends with the wife of the officer giving the tour. The kids were doing mugshots, and officer Bob was telling them about how he tried to get suspects to relax a bit when he took the photos so that they looked more natural. Kids, of course, ask questions.
My son asked, “Have you ever taken _________’s photo?” Officer Bob replied, “Yes, I’ve seen her a lot of times.” My son responded, “She’s my birth mom!” Officer Bob stammered a bit but managed to say that she was a very pleasant person to deal with.
36. Heavenly Delights
I teach culinary at the local vocational school—to both high school and adult groups—and we were talking about how tradition plays into food especially around the holidays. I asked for examples from my students and one of my high school girls proudly raised her hand and said, “Well, most people put angels or stars on top of their trees. We always use a Bud Light can.”
Not really what I was going for when I asked the students for examples, but good information.
37. Under The Skin
When I was teaching college-level introductory biology in grad school, the main lecturer told an anecdote. They said that one time one of his students came up to him after his heredity lecture and showed a simple Punnett square that she had doodled of her and her boyfriend’s blood phenotypes. She wanted to make sure she had done it right.
She wanted to be sure because if so, then it meant that her boyfriend wasn’t the father of her baby. The lecturer checked her work and awkwardly confirmed that she had, indeed, created the Punnett square right. She, apparently, stared at her notes quite sadly and murmured something about brief relationships during the period.
Supposedly the reason we don’t test blood types in class anymore, besides the obvious sanitary reasons, is that it wasn’t uncommon for kids to do Punnett squares on themselves and their parents and realize that something didn’t add up.
38. Skeleton In The Cupboard
Once, an eighth-grader told me excitedly, “Mrs. Teacher, guess what I found out? My grandpa was a Nazi!” This may have been brand new information for the student going by her excitement. So, I asked her, “Do you know what that word means?” She instantly replied that she did not, in fact, know what it meant.
So, I suggested to her, “Maybe you should go talk to your mom about that.” She must have taken my suggestion to her heart for she came in the next day and went, “Yeah, my mom told me I can’t tell people about my grandpa anymore.”
39. Painful To Hear And To Bear
I used to teach. I had one kid who would tell me every month when her mom was on her period. She would say something along the lines of, “Mrs. A, my mom is bleeding from her butt again.” At least, I hope that is what was going on or that poor lady had some severe hemorrhoids. That would have been painful.
40. Flying News
I was a kindergarten room mom and during the “what did you do over the summer” sharing, a little girl told the class the most horrifying story I’ve ever heard. She talked about how on her trip to Hawaii, her dad had ridden a motorcycle and lost control, and it went over a cliff and he didn’t make it. At pick-up time the teacher quietly said to the mom, “I’m so sorry about your husband.”
The mom simply rolled her eyes up to the heavens and said, “Oh geesh. What has she been saying?” It turns out that her husband was perfectly fine, and they hadn’t even left the town over the summer.
41. Getting Warmer
I once had a student who explained to me that all his neighbors were mad at his dad. I asked him why this was the case. The kid went on to clarify the cause by telling me that his dad had started a fire for insurance money and, thus, lit the whole carport on fire. Many cars were lit on fire that night. No wonder, his neighbors were feeling fiery.
42. An Almost Cliffhanger
In first grade, we had to make daily journal entries. I related a gem to my teacher through one such entry. I wrote, “We went to Orlando for a week. My mom was trying to light her smoke and almost drove our car over a cliff.” My teacher was pleased with my writing and wrote A++. My mom, however, was not as pleased.
43. Sending A Smile
I was a preschool photographer a few years ago. There was this one boy who came onto my set. He couldn’t have been more than four at the time. He said he “wanted to smile real good for Daddy, who crashed his motorcycle and went to Heaven.” I looked at the teacher and she said that it had happened a month or so prior to the day.
I had to fight so hard not to cry. He didn’t understand his dad wasn’t coming back because he was no more. I liked to use words other than “cheese” to get the kids to smile. For instance, I use words like bunny, puppy, kitty, etc. When it came time for this boy’s picture he said, “No, I wanna say Daddy!” This sweet boy gave the best smiles that day and was so full of silly, joyful energy.
Later, while waiting for his classmates to finish getting their pictures, I overheard him ask his teacher, “When is Daddy coming home? I miss him. When can I see Daddy?” It was a rough day after that.
44. Spelling Bee
I teach preschool. One day my kids were pretending to have a restaurant and were ‘writing,’ aka scribbling, each other’s orders. One older kid was actually learning to write and would ask me how to spell food items. He came up to me and said, “How do you spell whiskey?” I asked him why he wanted to spell that. He told me, “That’s my dad’s favorite drink!”
I told his mom because I thought it was funny, but unfortunately, this fact was related to why she and dad weren’t together anymore.
I had a little girl tell me every day for like a month that her mommy had a baby in her tummy. I knew that her mom didn’t want more kids for the time being, so we laughed about it all the time. Then, one day, the little girl’s mom comes to pick her up and I’m like oh man, your daughter was talking about the ‘new baby’ again!
That’s when the mom tells me that she actually took a test the day before and it was positive!
46. Wise Beyond Her Years
I am a bus driver and E started riding my bus in January. She noticed that I was knitting a glove on my dashboard and asked who it was for. I told her it was for my daughter, Lucy. She asked if Lucy had any brothers or sisters. So, I told E that Lucy was going to have a little brother, but he didn’t make it. What E said next surprised me with her maturity.
Having heard me, E went on to tell me, “That happened to my mom too. It was really hard on her.” That was maybe the most mature conversation I’ve had with anyone in 2021. I came to find out later that E is a mere nine years old. On a seemingly completely unrelated note, she went on to tell me how mac and cheese is her favorite food.
47. Unexpectedly Real Role Models
When I was in fourth grade, we each had a role model come into the class. I brought in a friend of my dad’s. When my teacher asked how we knew each other, I happily stated, “My dad and him met in AA!”
48. Breathing In
When we were in the ninth grade, learning about substance use in the health class, my friend raised his hand and said, “My dad does not smoke the usual stuff anymore.” The teacher said, “That’s amazing. I’m so happy for him.” The said friend then went on to complete the fact. He continued by saying, “Yeah, he smokes other things now.”
49. Massaging The Troubles Away
I had a seven-year-old student whose mother was a massage therapist. The student was happy to refer me to her. He, thus, gave me his mom’s business card and said, “She’s a massage therapist and could give you a nice massage. But she overcharges. Like she charges way too much because she likes to buy expensive things.”
50. Flexing It
One day the visiting yoga teacher came to a third-grade class I was covering. Once there, she then introduced herself to the class and went on to ask if anyone knew what yoga was. A little boy, innocent as can be, said, “Yes! I have seen my parents do it and I have to knock from now on because they like to do it without clothes on!”
51. Picturing It
During my sophomore year of high school, I spent my study hall in the first-grade classroom to help out. And, one day for show and tell, a kid brought in a picture of her mom and uncle. This picture was a very…romantic picture and but was also wrinkled so it looked like it was, at least somewhat, hidden away. Now, this picture was also somewhat recent.
It turns out that the kid had found a picture of her mom’s affair. Her mom was wearing lingerie while her uncle was in his underwear. The teacher realized this and kept the picture hidden from the dad until the mom could pick it up.
52. Same Romance, A Different Box
As a room mom for school parties one of my favorites was a Valentine’s party of second graders. They all made a Valentine box at their homes for the other kids to drop their valentines into. One kid’s was obviously a repurposed case of drinks. She was happy to point this out when it was her turn to describe it. Two kids later, the girl mentions that her box isn’t a drink box. It is, in fact, the box from her mom’s “massager.” I still crack up thinking of that moment.
53. Instant Fame
I was 21. I had just finished my teaching degree a few months earlier and I was relief teaching for the first time. A kid in the class that I was teaching told me that his brother had been on TV the night before. I was really impressed and asked him which TV show his brother was in and he said that he was in Police 10/7.
His brother had been trying to escape the authorities and had been in a car chase.
54. Moving Houses
Last year, I had a quiet girl do a free write about moving to our school in which she described her parents and their best friends living nearby, then building houses in the same neighborhood. Bear in mind that my school is in a constantly growing suburb. Then she described how her mom moved into the best friend’s house next door and the wife moved in with her dad. Yep, they swapped spouses, in neighboring houses.
55. No Sealed Lips
I texted a mom asking for a grade-card signature to be returned. She said to me that her daughter did not give it to her. I asked the student where her grade-card signature was, and she said that her mom said that she wasn’t going to sign it. Children rat their parents out unexpectedly all the time. Parents blame their kids a LOT!
56. Casual Dress
My daughter informed her entire daycare that “Daddy doesn’t ever wear pants at home.” She’s technically right, I wear shorts. She just never finished the whole sentence. A couple of her teachers have taken to making light of it any time they see me. I can only imagine the things she’s told them that they haven’t told me about.
57. Those Pesky Family Members
I did a placement once as a student in a reception class. The teacher asked the class a question about phonics and one little girl put her hand up eagerly. The conversation between the teacher and the said student went something like the following. It was quite enlightening, indeed, as the student talked on guilelessly.
The teacher asked, “Child’s name, can you tell your friends the answer?” The child promptly replied, “My mummy and daddy sleep in different beds. And, my mummy got cross at my brother because he was doing doughnuts in his car and had to pay money for being a silly sausage. And, then we went on holiday, and mummy said daddy is silly.”
58. Indoor Sunbathing
My partner worked in a kindergarten and a four-year-old boy told her one day that he had woken up late last night. Upon waking up, he went into the Television Room and he found that his mummy and daddy were laughing because he walked in when they had no clothes on and they were sunbathing in front of the fire.
59. Sipping Away
Not a teacher, but I once had a kid say that their mommy and daddy drink every night. I was suspicious, but later next week I was having a dinner time session with them. Dad was having an IPA. Mom had about two glasses of red wine. It was the same thing during the next couple of dinners. They don’t drink too much, but they do have a drink or two for every dinner, but not enough to get tipsy at all. However, the kid just knew that they “drank.”
60. Dressing Up
My husband has a student whose mom has a massive crush on him. She tells him all the time about how her mom primps before they do anything online, so she can lean in and say hi to him.
61. Hitting The Jackpot
I did a placement once and the students had to talk about what they would do with a million dollars. One kid gets up in front of the class and said to the class unreservedly, “My mum said if she had a million dollars, she would buy lots and lots and lots and lots of a lovely green plant with leaves that would make her relax.”
62. What’s For Dinner?
I had a student who would only eat fish and was bullied for it. It was not just fish. It was, in fact, the same type of fish made in different ways for three months. Then it was steak. Then it was pasta. It turns out that his dad worked security for a food distribution warehouse and was setting the trucks up to get robbed so he didn’t have to feed his kids.
63. Swings Galore
I had a child once playing on the tire swing. He was a very serious kid and he looked me straight in the eye and said how much he liked the swing at daycare. He went on to say how, when he grew up, he wanted to have a swing just like his mummy and daddy did in their bedroom. Looking his parents in the eye that day, telling them he had a good day, and keeping silent was difficult.
64. A Fair To Remember
I was discussing homophones with 3rd graders and we were considering the words fare/fair, what they mean, and how they’re spelled. I was sure we had exhausted all the meanings: fair weather, playing fair, bus or taxi fare, etc. I thought we had it covered, but no, Heather knew one more—and she accidentally shared her family’s darkest secret. She said, “You know, ‘fair?’ When your mom has a ‘fair’ and your dad finds out and gets really mad about it?” I’m not often speechless, but that left me floundering for a moment!
65. Finding Family
An 11th grader was talking about how he moved back with his grandparents when his mom passed away. He mentioned that his mom had also attended this school and so had his dad, but he had never met him. He only knew his dad’s first name. So, he said the name in my “get to know other students first-day icebreaker.” This is where it gets crazy. A freshman girl asked a few pointed questions, pulled out her phone, and called her dad.
The dad was there within 15 minutes. It turned out that the late mom’s family moved mom out of the city to hide the pregnancy and the dad only knew the child’s first name. The mom and dad had only been high school students at the time. Mom moved from a downtown major northern city to Alabama or Louisiana to be with her grandfather. The baby boy got the maternal grandfather’s name.
The dad did not have the money or the resources to track down the mom’s movement. This would be in the pager/cassette days and not during the years of cell phones and Facebook. The dad spent years trying unsuccessfully to track his kid and the kid’s mom down. He, later, settled down, became an EMT, got married, and had three daughters.
Among the three daughters, the oldest daughter was the previously mentioned freshman. There was a GD family reunion in my icebreaker on the first day of school.
One day while I was teaching multi-step equations to seventh graders, a girl asked to speak to me outside. She had these huge brown eyes that were brimming with tears. I walked outside and she just started spilling her guts. She began telling me that her mother wasn’t in the country legally. Her older sister’s substance problem was jeopardizing her mother’s security as she was worried about her sister being in trouble, etc.
In addition to all this, her sister would threaten her mom if she didn’t give her money for keeping up her substance use. There was a myriad of family drama she kept running through. After a few minutes, she looked at me and said, “Ms. (my last name), do you want to hear the worst part of it all?” I said that I did. So, she went on.
“I’m still in love with Tristan. And you sat me next to him in our new seating chart and I can’t sit that close to someone I’m in love with when I know he hates me now.” Yes, I moved her seat away from Tristan. That was a few years ago and I am still in close contact with her. She and Tristan did fall out of love. They have luckily both been able to find others.