Killing the moment

I volunteer in Brecken’s first grade class every Tuesday. One of the activities I do with the kids is write a word or sentence on the board and they use the letters available and make new words. This happened today:


Creepy kid with a speech impediment: “Modor”

Me: “Motor? No, we would need another O to make that word.”

Creepy kid: “No, modor.

Me: “I can’t hear you, ya gotta speak up. Mother?”

Creepy kid. “No. Mo-dor.”

Me: “Spell it.”

Creepy kid: “I don’t know how to spell it. M-o-r… Like I’m gonna modor you.”

Me: “Oh, murder.” *Quickly checking to see if we have all the letters needed to spell murder. Yep. Writes “murder” on the board without even thinking.

Innocent kid: “What’s murder?”

Me: “It’s when…” *Looks at teacher like a deer caught in headlights, only to see teacher looking back with the same expression.*

Teacher: “Uh, it’s just a word…”

Me: (silently in my head) I know I can make “murder” appropriate for first graders. Think, Phillips, THINK.

The kids start lining up to go to the book fair, I head out of the classroom. As I reach the edge of the library area I realize how to make “murder” okay for first graders! I turn around just as the class is entering the library.

Me: “A murder of crows! A murder is what you call a group of crows.”

Teacher: “Really?”

Me: “Yes. Did you hear that kids? A murder is a group of crows.”

Creepy kid: (Loudly and with strangely perfect annunciation for once) “AND IT’S ALSO WHEN YOU KILL SOMEONE.”

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