When I was in fifth grade, my spelling teacher was Mrs. McDonald. She was a tiny wisp of a woman and she seemed about 400 years old. Back in the day, being “teacher’s pet” was a social death sentence. Unfortunately, Mrs. McDonald was very good friends with my Aunt Jackie.
Mrs. McDonald would always call on me to hand out papers, erase the chalkboard, and more. Spelling class was right after lunch and Mrs. McDonald would always call me up to her desk, smile widely, and ask me if she had any food in her teeth. That was weird…
I didn’t mind doing those things for Mrs. McDonald…until the other kids started calling me Teacher’s Pet. That’s when I had to take action.
On the night before spelling test days (Fridays), I would pull out several small pieces of paper, and write the exact same list on each one. No, they weren’t spelling words. The list looked like this:
You get the point. Remember, her name was Mrs. McDonald (but she did not have a farm). I would then pass out those small pieces of paper to my classmates. When the test started, and when Mrs. McDonald would say the first word out loud, my classmates and I would all loudly say, “Meow!” When she read the second one, we would all bark, etc. Mrs. McDonald would get flustered but, since the entire class was doing it, no one person got into trouble. Not even me. I’m sure she knew I was responsible but she kept showering me with praise in front of my classmates, and “letting” me do little chores for her.
One day, I tried pushing her to her limit. I turned in my spelling test with just numbers on the piece of paper. I didn’t write down any of the words at all. She still gave me an A+. Clearly, SHE was now winning the battle. I feel kind of bad all these years later about what I put poor old Mrs. McDonald through but I have told the story many times over the years and it always gets a laugh. 😉
Fast forward a few decades and I received a phone call from one of our adult children. One of our grandchildren, who shall remain unnamed for this post, has been getting into trouble at school. During quiet time and tests, our grandchild will spontaneously ROAR. Yes, make a lion sound. Of course, I’m sure the classroom erupts into laughter and that positive reinforcement is a big thing for young children! I’d have to say that many of the pranks I pulled in my youth were totally worth it, even when I was punished for my misdeeds later.
Every time I picture our grandchild roaring in class, I start laughing out loud. I’m doing that right now! If our grandchild is going to turn out like me, God bless the parents! They’re in for a wild ride, especially when our grandchild becomes a teenager! 😉
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