Why I Hate Earth Day

Interestingly enough, it seems my hatred of holidays and people stems from multiple traumatic experiences teaching first grade. 

Now don't get me wrong.  I love first graders and am often jealous of the adorable projects and crafts that first grade teachers get to do.

I also secretly stalk first grade blogs and make friends with them. I do this because there is a tiny part of my soul that wishes to teach first grade forever. So I live vicariously through them.

Then I remember Thanksgiving.

And then I remember the second day of school when everyone hugged me and smiled with glee cried and bled playground wounds on the carpet after lunch.

I also remember Earth Day.

That black Earth Day, whilst brainstorming for a simple, yet fun, first grade writing activity, I discovered that first graders are unpredictable and sometimes, too knowledgeable.

I made a good anchor chart like a good teacher entitled: What Earth gives us.

My intention (ha.) was to create a list of things like flowers, trees... I don't know, maybe some kind of food.  I would have been happy even if someone said Doritos.

Initially, everything went as planned. "Flowers!" "Trees!"

Then a sweetie said, "The Earth makes people."

Now if you teach first grade, you know the special skill that is utilized 50% of the day: Turning sentences into coherent statements that match the learning goal, while preserving enough of the child's thought that the rest of the class doesn't realize you changed it.

I replied, "Oh, yes! People live on the Earth!" I began to write it on the chart.

Normally, I would have gotten smiling nods of approval. "We love you!" They would think. 

Not today.

"No. Earth makes people," she repeated.

Hmm.  As I scrambled for another bait and switch, another sweet voice said firmly, "Nuh-uh. God makes people!"

Oh $&%.

They argued. "No, Earth makes people." "No, God makes people." "No, Earth makes people." "No, God makes people."

I was so screwed. My head moved right to left to right to left as I frantically tried to think of something to say!

Then another voice said with sweet confidence, "Well, actually, sperm makes people."

Double $&%.

All of my sweet, innocent, rightly-non-reproductively-educated first graders swiftly turned to the child, inquisitively.

I was frozen.  He went on. "When the sperm meets the..."

As he spoke I knew what was about to come out of his mouth! The egg! He was going to talk about the ovum! The product, no doubt, of accidentally overhearing some discovery channel special!

The next moments played out in my mind... "What's sperm?" "Did your mom have a baby?" "What do you mean an egg? Like hatching?"

Triple, quadruple, holy $&%!!

"One, two, three! Eyes on me!" I yelled sharply and quickly just before the demise began.

"One, two! Eyes on you!" They chanted back.  The class was silent.  I was saved.

I shook my head no toward the child. He nodded.

"Time for recess!"

Luckily, I didn't get any angry parent emails.  Or any follow-up sperm questions.

Oh, Earth Day.  You just suck.

Even still, I supposed I'll do some kind of activity this year.  I'm not such the planner, so having this ready days before the actual holiday is a major feat.  Thought I'd share.

Maybe it will help my trauma?

Fun stuff alert! Katie for Teacher to the Core has compiled some awesome Earth Day freebies! Head on over to check it out!

Have a great week, friends!


  1. That is one of the funniest stories I have heard in a while! Literally LOL. Writing is probably the safer choice. Thanks for sharing (the story and the freebie!).

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  2. #5$% is right! You handled it wonderfully. I laughed all the way through the post!!!!!!!


  3. Wow! The things that kids say! I think you handled the situation well. I have no idea what I would have done. That is too funny! Thanks for sharing.

    Saddle Up For 2nd Grade

  4. I JUST LAUGHED OUT LOUD---what a funny story to share AFTERWARDS--but I probably would have done the same thing-refocus and move on! THANKS FOR SHARING! :)

  5. Ha! That was one of the best stories I've head in a long time! Thanks for sharing and keeping me laughing on this Monday Eve. Classic!
    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

  6. Thanks for the chuckle! Sounds like Murphy's Law struck you on that day!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  7. I would have been so worried about calls from parents!! So glad you didn't have to field any questions about that :)

    Recess and Beyond

  8. Loved this post. It definitely had me laughing.

  9. Oh Snap! Love the unpredictability of the Firsties! Keeps ya on your toes. We're going to settle in for the "Where do babies come from" lesson!
    Too classic friend!!!

    ~Christy & Tammy
    Fluttering Through First Grade

  10. Bahaha!! Oh Kate, how completely traumatizing!

  11. Haha! You make me laugh!! I had a similar experience this year with the K class my kids are book buddies with. One little K girl tried to show one of my boys where milk comes out of on a persons body. Before I get race over there he told her to "Shut up, milk comes from cows, lets get back to our book." whew!


  12. A wonderful story - of what we do all the time in our classrooms! So funny!

    1. So true! You just never know, do ya?? Haha!


  13. Whew! Any one of those comments might have done the rest of us in, but to face ALL of them? Nothing like early recess in my book!

  14. Oh My Goodness! Ya NEVAH know what's going to come out of their little mouths, eh? I was dying for you and of laughter while reading!!!!
    Growing Firsties

  15. That is absolutely hysterical!!!! I love your blog!!! I would love to team up soon and do a giveaway together :)


  16. Oh my word! I was laughing through the entire post. That is something my kids this year would say. I'll have to keep that in mind.

    Ms Richards's Musings

  17. This was HILAROUS!!! I laughed so hard! Fun times. I am your newest follower!

    Monahan Monkey Madness

  18. I can't stop laughing, so hilarious. I mean I have tears streaming down my face. Thanks for the laugh I think I can make it through the week.

  19. Oh my gosh, that was so funny! Thanks for sharing.



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