It was incredibly flattering that he found my stories so funny, and very gratifying to hear that the audience enjoyed them as well! They say that laughter is the best medicine, so hopefully these five stories will cure your ails (or at least prevent you from getting the flu like the rest of the students in my building!)
- As a five foot tall female, I’ve discovered that many substitute teachers mistake me for a student. Case in point: I was rushing into the classroom so I could get ready to teach my class on careers. The substitute looked at me, and then said, “Are you supposed to be in here?” I explained that I had a class that I teach during that particular time, but he was welcome to stay in the classroom if he wished. He raised his eyebrows before saying, “I wasn’t born yesterday. Now tell me who your teacher is.” It was only after I pulled out my staff ID and showed it to him that he believed this tiny little counselor really was the teacher!
- A lot of my students love to tease me about my height. I recently found out that some of my students are actually holding a contest to see who will be taller than me by the end of the school year. They like to stop me in the hall and measure themselves against me. The sad thing? Almost all of my sixth graders are taller than me … even when I’m rocking the two-inch heels!
- Not all of the teachers recognize my signature on passes yet. One of the teachers asked my student who had signed her pass. After class, the student came back to my office. “The orchestra teacher didn’t recognize your signature, Ms. Bong! Why is that?” After I explained that not every teacher knew my handwriting yet, my student responded, “You should just draw a picture of a high heel shoe instead of signing the passes. More people might know who it came from then!” The things students remember about you …
- Also on the high heel front, a lot of students have the habit of looking down at the floor whenever I greet them. At first, I was really worried that I was intimidating my students, or that they were too embarrassed to tell me something. One of the students who did it was a girl that I have a pretty good relationship. Finally, I said to her, “Why does everyone keep looking down at the floor whenever I tell them good morning?” The student laughed and said, “Ms. Bong, we want to check out your shoes and see how high they are!”
- And one final story about my shoes: our school recently celebrated Unity Day. Students and staff wore orange to show their support for anti-bullying efforts. I wore an orange and white dress for the occasion. How did my students respond? “Ms. Bong, where are your orange high heels?! Don’t you have any?” (Guess I need to start shopping …)