Normally I grade papers at our kitchen table, but it was such a bright, sunshiny day. I didn't want to work inside all weekend long. My husband and children need some of my time, too. At one point, I took a break from grading to play volleyball with my family, but I kept the dog in sight while we were at the net.
Otherwise, the paws would have found the papers again.
At least the grass wasn't wet. How would I explain that to my students?
"I'm sorry, class, but my dog sat on your homework. See her paw prints? I think she likes your work."
After some of the humor I've heard during the last six weeks, I think my students would be amused.
They enjoy "tricking" me, and if the truth would be told, I delight in their antics. Their energy and creativity can be invigorating.
Just a few days ago while we were checking a grammar assignment, I became distracted. (Yes, that can happen to teachers, too.)
I read the answers to the first and second sentences. Then a student asked me a question, which I answered. My eyes went back to the second problem. I read the answer to that one again.
That's when I heard the snickers, so I looked up.
"What's so funny?" I asked innocently.
"You just read the answer to that one," a student replied.
"Oh. Sorry. Let's go on to number three."
After we had checked the entire assignment, I asked if there were any other questions.
A student raised his hand and asked, "Would you read the answers to number two?"
"Sure," I said, enthusiastically going through those again.
I looked up.
"Oh. That was a joke wasn't it? That was the one I already read twice, right? So you wanted to see if I would read it a third time? And I did. Funny."
I had to smile because I remember similar things happening in my high school classes. It was a way to make school interesting.
We really kept our teachers on their toes, and I guess some of that is coming back to me now. If my students knew how much I relate to them, though, they probably wouldn't enjoy their little schemes nearly as much.
Promise you won't tell them?
In return, I promise to keep my dog away from your newspaper.
Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page.
Send e-mail to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.