Show and tell is a favorite among Kindergartners. They can't wait to bring in something from home to share with their peers. These days we have strict criteria for what qualifies as show and tell, but when I first started teaching, I pretty much gave the children free reign to bring in toys, objects, etc.

One year really sticks out in my memory. A little boy had raided his Dad's briefcase before he left for school. He was proud of his Dad and wanted to show off something that belonged to him. He got up in front of the class and said he wanted to show a card his Daddy had in his briefcase. It was a very explicit greeting card  complete with a picture of the X rated nature and I quickly snatched it up and asked him if his Mom knew he had taken the card. I asked him if his Mother or Dad knew that he had brought the card and he confessed that they did not. The first sentence that the child's father had written inside the card made me blush and I quickly closed it. I got on the phone and called the child's Mom and told her about the card.

To my amazement, she was at my classroom door asking for it in a very short time. When I handed it to her and she opened it, she looked furious. Thinking she was upset with me, I told her that I was sorry but that I  thought she hadn't known that her son brought it to school and was sure she would want to know about it.  She looked up and said "This card isn't addressed to me!!! and stormed off. Dumbfounded, I went back into the classroom. Sure enough, when my assistant and I checked the child's information sheet, his mother's name was different than the one the card was addressed to. I felt so bad about that and have no idea what the outcome was.

Note to sure to screen items your child brings in for show and tell.


  1. Andrea // April 24, 2010 at 9:56 PM  

    oh my gosh! What an awkward situation. Wow. Just wow.

  2. Ms. Anthropy // April 24, 2010 at 10:15 PM  

    Ouch! I'll be a couple of somebodies got in trouble for that one.

  3. Oka // April 24, 2010 at 10:20 PM  

    This reminds me of my oldest. In elementary school he didn't care to read fiction. He was fixated on non-fiction reading, especially in many different science fields. For his 10th Birthday, his uncle had given him a Border's gift card. I took him to buy a book. His choice was a human anatomy book. I allowed him to buy it because, well he was able to read those books and actually learn the way they weren't meant to be learned from.

    Later that school year (5th grade), he decided to take that book to school without asking. He felt it had some information that went along with something they were covering in class.

    That day, he came home from school, and confessed that he had taken it to school. His teacher felt it inappropriate for the other students, she took it and locked it u in her desk.

    My oldest has Asperger's Syndrome, so he usually doesn't see things the same way others his age do. I explained to him, that not every 10-12 year old is mature enough for a human anatomy book. That they don't see it for it's educational benefits.

    Together, we contacted the teacher. She was more than happy to return it. She also explained to him that not only was most of his class mature enough, but it may outrage other parents.

    Then she commended me for not preventing him for learning as much as he could at that age.

  4. Theresa Milstein // April 24, 2010 at 10:34 PM  

    I never would've thought to screen a show and tell object, and when I've subbed, I've never seen another teacher screen show and tell items. After your story, I'll ALWAYS make sure.

    There's no way you could've known who that card was for. What a strange situation! That woman was better off knowing the truth.

  5. Elizabeth // April 24, 2010 at 10:58 PM  

    Oh. My. Goodness! What a situation to be in the middle of!!

  6. My Lipstick Life // April 24, 2010 at 11:13 PM  

    That is a show and tell for the record books! I have had many myself but this was a whopper...

  7. mrs. c // April 24, 2010 at 11:19 PM  

    I have oral presentations with a graphic display....which means show and tell with a purpose.
    For example, at the beginning of the year we are learning about each of our children. During phase-in I give them a 12x12 in. poster board square and ask parents/child to decorate it like a scrapbook page, showing us things about the child and their family. I then string these together to make the Pre-k family quilt which is displayed in the hall. After open house I make it into a big book and each child gets to take it home.
    Each week we have family homework that allows parents to help their child but then we have oral presentations where the child talks about it. I think it really helps children get comfortable speaking in front of their peers. In fact I plan to write a teacher book about these because they have become such a hit! What do you think? WOuld you buy a book with homework ideas for oral presentations?

  8. Karen Blados // April 24, 2010 at 11:19 PM  

    my son's favorite word, which i don't believe he actually understands, sure fits here...


    ... but funny in the retelling.

  9. Marlene // April 24, 2010 at 11:34 PM  

    Ha. The jerk got caught. :) (I'm an evil sadistic little thing, aren't I?)

  10. Huckleberrygal // April 24, 2010 at 11:45 PM  

    Wow! What a way to find out! Poor kid; just shows their innocence.

    I am glad you're following now and I plan to have some giveaways of my own soon. In a month or so, I will giveaway huckleberry products so others can enjoy them :).

  11. Adrienne // April 25, 2010 at 12:11 AM  

    ummm Wow busted like Tiger what is up with fellas and the need to no behave ...but ladies do it too so IDK but I am sure that the situation was not a happy one.

  12. Anonymous // April 25, 2010 at 4:29 AM  

    What a predicament!!

  13. Jocelyn // April 25, 2010 at 7:10 AM  

    Oh Dear...I bet there was a Dad who was in a lot of trouble!!!

    See what happens when you do something get caught!!!

    Too bad you had to be in the middle of it!!!

    Have a great day sweet friend!!

  14. Crystal H. // April 25, 2010 at 7:34 AM  

    Yikes! What a sticky situation! I am following from Friday Follow and I would love if you would follow me too:

  15. Aging Mommy // April 25, 2010 at 8:31 AM  

    I never imagined the life of a Kindergarten teacher would involve such complicated experiences and a need for diplomatic service experience :-) Oh my, I wonder what that poor woman did with that card and to her husband?!?! Her husband should have known that nothing is off limits for exploration by a child - maybe he wanted the card to be found and it was his cowardly way of announcing a change in his plans for life moving forward!

  16. Choices // April 25, 2010 at 8:32 AM  

    Wow! I feel so bad for the mother of this little boy! What a way to find out something like that. That is heartbreaking. This goes to show that Show and Tell always needs a Theme.
    Take care. Enjoy your day.

  17. Shell // April 25, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

    Oh, no! That's one thing I learned quickly- kids will spill all their secrets to their teachers! Now I'm cringing at what my boys will tell their teachers! LOL

    Not that I have anything that racy to hide!

  18. Tree // April 25, 2010 at 12:54 PM  

    Has to be one of the funniest (yet akward) stories I've heard in a LONG time! LOL

    P.S. I have featured this post on my blog for my Sunday Linky Love meme...come check it out!

  19. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 1:34 PM  

    Lol Theresa,

    It was a wow for me but it was also upsetting. I really felt badly about it.

  20. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 1:34 PM  

    I never heard a word Ms. A! I never asked either.

  21. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 1:36 PM  

    Dear Oka,

    I have to agree with his teacher. I think you are a great Mom and he was in fifth grade. It is a shame that she worried about the opinion of the other parents but it sounds like it all ended well. Blessings to you

  22. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 1:37 PM  

    I have had some other interesting show and tell items, but Theresa, none ever came close to this one. I really felt so badly for the little boy and his family.

  23. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 1:38 PM  

    I agree Elizabeth,

    Shame on me for not putting two and two together. My first reaction was just to call the Mom.

  24. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 1:39 PM  


    I will have to say that it is one of the most awkward moments I have ever experienced in my life. Thanks for the link sweet lady. Blessings

  25. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 1:41 PM  

    Lol Shell,

    Little children are so innocent in what they do. This card was sparkly and I am sure that is what attracted the child.

  26. Katie // April 25, 2010 at 1:45 PM  

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm glad that I found yours to follow, too! Hope you are having a great weekend!


  27. Teresa @ ♥ TOO MANY HEARTBEATS ♥ // April 25, 2010 at 2:53 PM  

    Wow, what a story! I can't imagine being put in that situation.

    I just wanted to let you know that I stopped by and I am now your newest 'Follower'. I love your blog and will definitely be back to read more soon. :o)

    I hope you and your family are enjoying a wonderful Sunday.

    In Christ Alone~

    Teresa <><

  28. Robin // April 25, 2010 at 4:44 PM  

    I simply have no sympathy for cheaters. I do feel tons of sympathy for that poor mom who picked up that card, however. How ironic that the dad got ratted out by his own precious kid.

  29. Jenny // April 25, 2010 at 7:35 PM  

    Holy my goodness. That is quite the story. I hope the husband got a great big whack in the head from his briefcase.

    It is kind of funny even though the poor Mom must have been devastated.

  30. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 7:56 PM  

    Thanks Katie,

    You have such great recipes. I am excited about trying out some on my family.

  31. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 7:57 PM  

    Blessings to you sweet Theresa,

    Keeping you and your loved ones in my prayers. Thanks for your sweet comment.

  32. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 7:58 PM  

    I felt really bad for the Mom and the little boy, bless his heart. I don't know the outcome.

  33. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 7:59 PM  


    I thought she was upset with me for calling her. At least I was relieved to learn what she was really angry about.

  34. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 8:12 PM  

    I felt so sorry for the little boy's Mom Elizabeth.

  35. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 8:12 PM  


    I have never had one since to top that one...thank goodness!

  36. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 8:14 PM  


    No, Marlene, you aren't. I think like me, you feel bad for his wife and son.

  37. VKT // April 25, 2010 at 8:15 PM  

    Thanks for letting me know Diana and thanks for your comment on my post. I hope you had a great week-end.

  38. Annesphamily // April 25, 2010 at 8:28 PM  

    That poor child! He was so proud of that card! The parents needed to screen their childs show and tell in the future!

    I had a friend who taught kindergarten and said a kid brought his om's bc pills to school! How did that happen!?

    But my kids old principal at their Catholic school told me she would not allow any cowboy or police costumes for Halloween as one boy at a very well to do Catholic school she previously worked at brought his fathers LOADED service revolver to school complete with his policeman costume! Hello parents! Are you paying attention?!

  39. Teachinfourth // April 25, 2010 at 11:55 PM  

    Oh. my. goodness.

    I think you handled that quite nicely, but I must say that that was QUITE the awkward situation. As teachers, we often get the best war stories, don't we?

    By the way, I found you via Mother of Pearl it is. When I saw that you were a teacher, I couldn't help but click over...

  40. Domesticated-Bliss // April 26, 2010 at 8:26 AM  

    Oh my goodness! I had a tonsillectomy in kindergarten and the doctor let me keep them in a jar in phymaldehide (sp?) I begged my mom to let me bring them into show and tell and my teacher almost passed out! The other kids in the class thought they were awesome though!

    Thanks for your comment on my book review. I got that book from a review service and was required to do a review. I had to be honest I really didn't like it :)

  41. Anonymous // April 26, 2010 at 12:04 PM  

    BWHAHAHAHA! Oh my goodness!! What a riot! (The part of him bringing the card in anyway!)

    That poor mother....I smell divorce court!

  42. Lauri // April 26, 2010 at 1:35 PM  

    Wow!! What an awkward situation. I wonder if the kid remembers it.

  43. Kelly // April 26, 2010 at 2:30 PM  

    Oh NO! That's horribly funny.

  44. redgirl // May 23, 2010 at 12:49 AM  

    wow...Awkward. So much more than awkward, but I can't think of a word for it...