Every year I have taught, regardless of the school I was teaching in, at least one new teacher joined the staff in the fall. One year I met an energetic young teacher fresh out of college who I learned would be teaching first grade in the room next to mine. This guy had so much energy and enthusiasm that I told him if he could ever bottle it, he would make a lot of money. There was only one down side to my new colleague. He loved to play practical jokes, especially on me. A few prime examples come to mind.

One day he knocked on my door and told me to come out in the hall as quickly as I could. A huge computer box was parked right outside my door. He slapped me on the back and congratulated me for getting the new computer. I was confused and told him I thought it was supposed to be going to the computer lab. He encouraged me to go ahead and open  it and see what the manifest said.  I was absolutely thrilled to think that I was getting a new computer to replace the ancient relic in my classroom. I grasped the top flaps in anticipation when all of a sudden one of his students jumped out and said "Surprise!" I shrieked at the top of my lungs and several teachers came running out to see what the commotion was all about. Of course, my class loved the diversion.
Another time I was running late for a teacher's meeting. Everyone was already seated and he motioned for me to come and join his table. Trying not to draw attention to myself since I was late, I went around to the very back and finally got to his table. I breathed a sigh of relief....until I sat down. He had slipped a whoopee cushion into my seat. Every person in the room, including my Principal, turned to look at my beet red face. I wanted to crawl under the table but I sat stiff backed through the meeting while the little prankster literally chewed on the insides of his mouth to keep from laughing out loud. What added insult to injury was when a teacher assistant at another table passed some antacids over to me after giving me a sympathetic nod.

This young man loved teaching and really motivated his students but he and this veteran teacher had a heart to heart after that staff meeting. He never played another practical joke on me after that! Of course, I DID make a point not to sit by him in staff meetings any longer.

He went on to become an adminitrator where I have no doubt that his sense of humor followed him.


  1. Theresa Milstein // February 18, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

    Oh no! Now he'll torture a lot of teachers instead of just a few.

  2. Trudy // February 18, 2010 at 11:29 PM  

    Hmm--I don't know if I could be as gracious and forgiving as you--I love to be laughes with--not at!

    You write very well. ny the way!!

    Thanks for stopping be "Knit/Pickin' and for your nice condolences.

  3. Melissa aka Equidae // February 19, 2010 at 5:04 AM  

    gosh i would have killed him....sigh i aint good with jokes :( thanks for passing by my blog!

  4. Heather // February 19, 2010 at 8:14 AM  

    The kid in the box? Funny. I could have taken that.

    The whoopee cushion in the meeting? Not funny, unless you're a five year old boy. I admire your restraint :)

    Thanks for your advice; I think I have decided to wait on filling the baby teeth. Glad to "meet" you!

  5. Michelle // February 19, 2010 at 9:36 AM  

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    Keep posting. Your writing is good. I like the variety of topics.

  6. Dan // February 19, 2010 at 10:14 AM  

    I'm surprised that he could keep control of his students. Every kid likes to goof off, and often the only thing that keeps them in line is a teacher who has his/her mischievous propensities in check. But if the teacher starts goofing off, I would think it almost impossible to put the cork back on the bottle.

    I have my mischievous side as well, and I've used it for a lot of pranks in the office. But as a young man, I quickly learned that you really have to know your victim, or you will pay dearly for any laughs.

    Thanks again for the excellent article!