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Teachers Aren’t People

Some of you may be surprised by this news, but teachers aren’t people. They are public school furniture and do not function outside of school hours. Just ask any first grader.

My first teaching job in Vegas was 1st grade remedial reading. One of my students was a fire-haired, freckle faced, jack-in-the-box named Jordan. Jordan couldn’t read because he had yet to expand his attention span beyond 20 seconds.

Jordan talked frequently about his momma cat and her kittens and it came to be that I was convinced I need one. Jordan’s mother brought the cat to me after school one day. Jordan had picked the kitten out. It was fire-haired, just like him.

The next morning in class Jordan’s attention span seemed to be even shorter than usual. He kept bouncing out of his chair and crawling around the room. At one point his face was pressed to the floor, his butt was up in the air and he was trying to shove his head under the wardrobe. I snapped, “Jordan! What are you doing?”

He said, “Looking for the kitten.”

“The kitten doesn’t live here,” I said. “Now come and sit down.”

He plopped back on his butt, still sitting on the carpet, and demanded, “Where does it live?”

“In my apartment,” I told him. “He’s probably curled up on my bed sound asleep.”

Jordon frowned skeptically. “You have an apartment?”

Harvey, sitting on my left queried in disbelief, “You have a bed?”

Bridgette, clearly in awe, whispered, “Do you sleep?”

I assured all six of my students that I had an apartment. I slept. I ate food. I did dishes, took showers, watched TV and did all of the normal things other people do.

Juan Jose, despite having touched me many times, slowly reaced out his fingers and touched my hand. His eyes widened in surprise. “She’s really real!” He breathed.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Wonderful story, reading this brought back memories I long forgot. When I was little I used to think the same thing about teachers.

    One teacher I will always remember is my Grade 2 teacher. Mrs MacPherson would never give us homework on Friday to be ready by Monday.

    Her reasoning was it was our weekend as well and we didn’t need homework getting in the way of the Saturday Matinee (another pleasant memory I’ve haven’t thought about in a long time) or going to church.

    Have a Blessed Weekend.


    My Halloween picture is posted. See what 46 years does to an Old Fart. heh heh

  2. Yeah, Quilly…teachers don’t have lives, and parents don’t have sex…we just miraculously arrive. These are things are what we all think as kids.

  3. So funny! My daughter teaches kindergarten, I went to school to help on her parents day one year and when she introduced me her class had that same stunned look. “You have a mother?” One little guy gasped.

  4. That brought back memories of when I saw my 1st grade teacher riding in a rumble seat with of all things a man after school. I didn’t know what to make of it. I knew real people did this, but a teacher? Wow.

  5. I loved your story. My students are a little older (6th grade) but they’re still shocked to find out I have a life outside of school.

  6. I guess I was always a very serious child who knew things. I always knew my teachers were real people. And had homes and beds. But then I was raised with the knowledge that there was no Santa Claus, no tooth fairy, and definitely NO Easter Bunny. haha Mine was a no nonsense household.

    So it amazes me that everyone isn’t aware that teachers are just people who choose to make their living teaching. But then I was never six……..sigh

  7. oh how funny..

    so you are real eh?
    sorry, can’t take the word of a first grader (okay he must be older now, but work with me here, funny doesn’t come easy to me, lol)..i’ll have to touch you myself..
    i always figure you were just an imaginary friend i made up..and i thought i did a great job..

    hon: the words you left behind, embarrassed me, i so wish i was all this wonderfulness that you all see..i’m nothing really hon..i do really love you all though. that’s all.

  8. Oh my, Quilly-Sister, I had this urge to go to go to your school and tell some little people how REAL you really are! LOL (just kidding) xoxoxoxo

  9. haha, Jackie has some secrets about you Quilll…..this is the problem with letting your family know you have a blog…You just never know what skeletons they might post. hahahahahahaha

  10. Hahahaha!

    My mother (who taught grade two: 6- and 7-yr-olds) for many years had a similar story. Some of her students thought she slept in a box in the cupboard in her classroom. They got very confused when they saw her out grocery shopping with me and my brother!

    I on the other hand, have not had that problem, having taught teens. What I did get every so often, was a student with a brain fart ask me what I did for a living. My answer: Answer silly questions like this one.

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