Monday, July 26, 2010

Thut Up!

This is the story of how straightening my teeth made me a crappy teacher.

Two years ago, I decided that my teeth were terribly crooked and I should spend several thousand dollars to get them straightened. In reality, they were barely out of line but at the time I thought my teeth were the key to success in life and they had to be absolutely perfect. Since the crookedness was so minimal, my dentist said I would be a good candidate for invisalign.

Invisalign is two plastic trays, molded to your teeth. Each few weeks you get a new set of trays that move your teeth into their new, straight place. They’re supposed to be great because they’re clear and no one knows you’re wearing them! Unlike bulky, obvious braces, invisalign is supposed to make everything wonderful and get you perfect teeth in a jif.

This is what you look like with braces:

Nobody tells you that invisalign can give you a lisp and make basic speech awkward until you adjust to having a ton of plastic in your mouth. My first day with the trays, I walked into 3rd grade and promptly realized I could not pronounce the most basic sounds. Sounds like “SHHH,” which is basically 70% of my daily speech to children. “Shhh” became “Thhhh” and I was so frustrated in trying to get the kids to listen to me with my new lisp and sore mouth.

“Lithen! You guyth need to lithen! Thhhhh!!!! Eyeth up here! I’m thpeaking!”

Do you know how hard it is to talk about fracthunth? And Thothal Thtudieth?

By noon, my mouth could barely do any more of the gymnastics required for basic lessons. The kids were out of control. I didn’t want to talk. My tongue refused any more acrobatics just to reprimand anyone. Miss P was down and out.

The next day, I thought I might start off my introduction by telling the kids I sounded a little weird because of the invisalign. This did nothing. Aside from the weirdness of having the kids SUPER interested in my mouth because I told them about the trays, they still didn't listen and I still had a lisp. Only now they knew why.

So for the first month of my teeth straightening odyssey, until I learned how to speak with them in, the children under my care were basically nuts.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Hi guys! I'm still here! We're on summer break so no new stories to share, but I will post some old favorites soon that happened before this blog started. :D

Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Announcement

One day, in first grade, I was demonstrating a math problem on the white board. I was explaining away, and I turned my head and asked something about tens and ones, to gauge how much they'd understood: "Now what happens when you have 12 ones? What can you do with that?"

A little hand shot up eagerly. A boy with a buzz cut, and a missing front tooth. I nodded at him (the signal for "go on, tell me") and he shared:

"The baby, that was in my mom's stomach, it came out!"

Me: 0_o

Now, I am used to getting answers that have nothing to do with the question I just asked. The problem was his answer could mean something wonderful or something terrible. I cautiously asked "Oh? What was the baby, a boy or a girl?"

"Girl!" he announced. He sounded happy, yes, this was a birth announcement. I exhaled. He continued:

"She is a girl, and her head is this big (he compared it to his palm). Her hands are really small." He couldn't remember her name, or what day she was born. But she was born.

I said "Wow, that's wonderful. Thank you for telling us. Alright, now back to tens and ones..."

If this kid sent out the birth announcement, it would look like this: