My Little April Fools (All 30 of them)

April 1, 2009

When my students arrived this morning they quickly discovered that their chairs were missing.  Fully expecting an April Fools’ joke from me, they were not surprised and did not believe me at all when I pretended not to know anything about it.  Instead I feigned annoyance at their noise and told them to quickly unpack their books and sit down for first period.  I ignored their protests and tried my hardest not to smile when they accused me of “stealing” their chairs.  Being the goofballs they are, they enjoyed their first two classes sitting on the floor and were surprisingly calm and well behaved.  Then I announced that we would need our chairs for the Big Assessment I had been asked to give them by the administration.  Of course they didn’t believe me at all and once they had retrieved their chairs from upstairs and were seated, they looked very dubious.  But there I was with a big pile of 4-page tests in my hand looking very serious.   I assured them that it was a ‘no big deal’ test and was just an assessment to see how much they had learned during the semester.  Some of them were still not buying it until my friend in the school office called down on the PA system to remind me about the “Annual Assessment”.  Suddenly the kids sat up a little straighter and it dawned on them that the test was for real.  I handed it out under test conditions and reminded them of the first line which read “please read all questions carefully before beginning the assessment” (you know where this is going…).  Naturally out of thirty students, only 3 actually read all the questions first which meant that only three read #50 which said “this test is a joke.  Please raise your hand quietly and I will come and speak to you”.  So three hands went up and I wrote on their papers “this is a joke, keep pretending, okay?”.  All three nodded and winked and the rest of the class worked diligently for the rest of the period.  It was a pretty believable since it was a review of everything they have learned this semester. 

Then during the test I activated the remote control fart machine that I had planted in the filing cabinet.  The students all started giggling and I pretended to be ignorant of the farting noises and told them to settle down every time they giggled.  I have no idea how I was able to keep a straight face since I just wanted to bust up completely.  Finally just as the period was ending, most of them reached question 50 and realized their mistake.  At that point I called them all April Fools and they called me all manner of things.  Thankfully my class really are a bunch of good sports and are fairly used to me by now, so no-one was upset or made overly anxious by my joking around.  And hopefully next time around they will follow the directions.

They spent the rest of the morning trying to get me back with “Miss, we see a mouse over there!” pranks.  Then they somehow had the office call me on the PA system to come up to the office.  I knew they were up to something when I heard loud whispers and movement as soon as I walked out of the room.  Sure enough when I returned they were all hiding (all thirty of them – 5 of whom were under my desk!).  They were so funny because I could hear thirty little giggles and was pretending I didn’t hear them.  Then I spotted the ones under my desk so I sat down in my chair as if they weren’t there and pretended to have a near heart-attack when they screamed at me from under the desk.

Did I mention I love teaching fifth grade?  Of course, I use the term “teaching” very loosely.

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