Odysseus and the Manatees
“So what do the mermaids eat? Not the princess ones, the fat ones.” My student was referring to manatees, the animal that’s believed to have started the mermaid legend.
—Kali B.

The Power of Science
“When do you think scientists will bring the dinosaurs back?” —Erin H. 

Snack Attack
Student: “Mrs. Erlandson, what do you fear the most?”
Me: “Wow! Tough question. Probably something happening to my kids.”
Student: “Mine is that they’ll stop making hot Cheetos.” —Heather E.

Calorie Bomb
I was teaching a lesson on nutrition to my fifth graders. We were comparing different food labels. One of the students raised his hand and asked, “Ms. H, why does it say, ‘Oh my God’ for fat? This thing must be really fattening!” The label read “0mg.” We laughed for days! —Alaina H.

Job Description
“Do you work here, or are you just a teacher?” Um, well...just a teacher, I suppose!
—Heather N.

Bob’s Your Uncle
After a student asked me about America’s “Uncle Sam,” another student said, “Wait, are you two related?” — Danielle C.

Teacher’s Aide
One of my students was especially sad at the end of the year, and as I tried to reassure her, she said, “I’m worried about you. What will you do when I’m not here to help you remember everything?” —Jackie B.

Call the Understudy
After telling my kindergarten class that there would be a substitute teacher during my absence, one of the boys asked me, “Does a substitute student come to school when I’m absent?” —Bette N.

Heat Wave
When Christmastime comes around, we turn our SMART Board into a fireplace via YouTube while we work on a craft. One of my students came up and asked if we could turn the fireplace off because it was getting too hot in the classroom! —Michelle C.

Shine On
I look young for my age, but I started getting gray hair very early. A student once asked me, “How did you get your hair to sparkle like that?” —Raena K.

Where’s Washington?
A student asking me if I had change for a $5 bill said, “I’ll give you one Abraham Lincoln for five George Bushes.”
—John H. 



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Illustration: Greg Clarke