Katie Mann
September 18, 2013

4th Wall Kids-Speak

Do you remember Art Linkletter coining the phrase, followed by Bill Cosby putting his spin on:  Kids say the darndest things?  And how true it is!  A few of my favorite Kids Speak-isms:

  • I overheard a six-year-old boy practicing his flirtation skills with a six-year-old girl, using this catchy opening line, “Did you know that bats sleep upsidedown?  And they use echolocation.”  (Needless to say, she was very impressed).
  • Students have asked if I was married, but years ago a four-year-old girl took the cake when I replied that no, I was not married.  She seriously inquired, “It’s okay, you still have time.  How old are you?”  “Nineteen.” “Oh, I am so sorry.”  (Glad she has empathy.)

4th Wall Teacher-Speak

img_0679What often doesn’t receive as much recognition is what I have filed away as, Things you didn’t think you would say today.  For example, My mother caught herself once telling a toddler-me, “Do not eat cheese while sitting on the dog.”

These types of scenarios present themselves all the time when working with students.  We call these moments 4th Wall Teacher-Speak. If you are a teacher, educator, or a parent you know what I mean, and probably have several dozen examples to share.  Often teaching and working in pairs, it is necessary comic relief to smile at the other adult in the room when we catch ourselves saying something like:

  • We do not throw muffins to our friends.
  • Bees do not like sandwiches.
  • How would you like it if someone licked you?

Speaking all these phrases made sense at the time, I can assure you.  It is just one of the many joys that goes along with teaching:  You never know what the day will bring, or what interesting sentences will come out of your mouth in dealing with a particular situation.

When days are jam-packed with events and commitments, and everyone seems to have collaborated to panic all at once, I reflect upon these humorous silver-lining moments for perspective and a good chuckle to share around the dinner table.

And special thanks to Purple Dotter’s contributions.