by Melissa Robertson, Learning Technologies Support Specialist, Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning, VIU

melissa5I was taking a walk down memory, thinking about my teaching days, when I realized there were many situations I was prepared for and a few I was entirely not prepared for. Here are the four craziest incidents I had to deal with as a teacher – although there were many more – these are the most extreme examples:

1) Public Urination

I was definitely prepared for a certain number of  ‘bathroom accidents’ to be a part of teaching primary students. However, I never thought I would have to reprimand a student for – standing on top of the portable and peeing on it – in the middle of recess. This particular Grade 3 student only did it because he was dared to do it – which he seemed to think this was a totally reasonable excuse. He lost recess privileges for a month.

Lesson Learned: Kids will do anything if they are dared.


2) Cheque Kiting

One industrious Grade 2 student decided that she really wanted to place a Scholastic Book order. She didn’t have any money, so she stole her parents cheque book and wrote a cheque. Being in Grade 2 she just didn’t quite have the whole system down. For example – no one signs a cheque DAD and I can’t be 100% sure, but I am not sure the bank would accept a cheque written in pencil. While I can’t blame her for wanting the book about drawing horses, I did have to let her know that I couldn’t submit her order, and YES – I will be calling her Dad!

Lesson Learned: Industrious kids can be very clever and always review hot lunch and scholastic book order payments.


3) Extortion

In my second year of teaching a small group of Grade 1 students thought it would be funny to swarm a Grade 5 girl. While it started out as innocent chasing it soon progressed to all out bullying. They would do this everyday at recess, and she would get upset, so it only encouraged their behaviour. Being embarrassed that she was being harassed by grade 1’s, it was hard for the student to come forward about what was going on. One day the boys told her that if she paid them they would stay away and leave her along. However, after forking over $22.00 (in toonies and loonies), they were back at the next day thinking she would pay them again. Thankfully she reported them, we got her money back, and the boys had to take long overdue responsibility for their actions. These students didn’t even know how to spell extortion, but after a visit from the RCMP they were honestly “scared straight”.

Lesson Learned: Kids are never to young to commit crimes, they will take advantage or each other, and can just be mean.


4) “Shanking”

One of my more disturbed students, thought it would be funny to use his butter knife as a weapon on the playground, hide it in his sleeve, so he could go around “shanking” people. Now I am not sure how a Grade 3 knows what “shanking” is and how to perform it, but he managed to wander around the playground before school attacking random people. Eventually the duty teacher intercepted him and confiscated the butter knife. At lunch the student in question apparently went down the office, told the school principal that he needed the knife to put his cream cheese on his bagel and that the duty had taken the knife away – not knowing the whole story – the principal gave him back the knife. Needless to say he was back on the playground “shanking” people the next recess – thankfully no one was hurt. He was reprimanded severely, and wasn’t on his medication at the time, however, he did get suspended.

Lesson Learned: Some kids have terrible home lives and are exposed to things that they shouldn’t be –  you will have to help give them boundaries and structure as a teacher.