MEAN teacher

Okay, so this is kind of humiliating, but I thought I’d share it with you guys anyway. Yesterday afternoon, this 15 year old guy that is in our class came up to me and asked “Teacher, Can I go watch the Bachelor?” Now there was no way that I was letting him sneak off during class to go watch some dumb American TV show! What was he thinking? So, of course, I said no. Then, because I was curious about his question, I said “Is it in English?” He looked really confused. So I asked him where he would watch it, “Is it on your cell phone?” thinking he might have some kind of TV function on his phone that I hadn’t heard about. He looked even more confused, and pointed in the direction of the bathroom.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. He wasn’t asking to watch the Bachelor… he was asking to go to the bathroom.

Yikes! So, I tried to apologize, and to explain what I was thinking…but there is just NO way that he understood. So, I’m a mean teacher….so mean that I won’t let my kids go to the bathroom when they need to, and so mean that I ask them confusing questions about going to the bathroom after I’ve said no. He probably wondered what the heck was going on that I thought he would go to the bathroom in English, or on his cell phone.

Man, what a day…I was pretty embarassed! Lesson #1: If students ask a strange question, clarify to make sure you know what they are really asking. Lesson #2: Teach students proper English pronunciation for all words, but especially important words like “bathroom”.

2 thoughts on “MEAN teacher”

  1. Wow! That makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time. I hope he has understood by now that you weren’t wanting to transmit his bathroom experience through video-phone capabilities. Just kidding :P

    Don’t worry, I know how those highly embarrasing cross-lingual situations feel.

  2. Yeah Brian, no doubt you do. I can’t see how people live in a foreign culture without learning the language. You could survive, sure, but you’d never have a real clue what was going on, or what was happening to you. Like being in a foreign film without subtitles.

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