Third Grade Mechanics

“All right children,” I said to the third-graders, “who can tell me how to install a new motor in an automobile?”

They all looked at me with complete confusion.

I refuse to talk down to my students. They might only be eight years old and currently clueless, but how else are they going to learn? Sometimes it’s a real drag, like this morning, when I asked that question.

Eventually, I just sighed and decided to move on. “Let’s try something else then. I’d like someone to tell me the difference between auto mechanics and auto electrical. Brighton needs plenty of people in these fields, so pay attention.” To my shock, one of the students actually lifted his hand. “Yes, Billy?”

“Ms Frankie, may I go to the bathroom?”

I knew I shouldn’t have agreed to take the third-graders. I was perfectly happy teaching sixth grade, where the students at least had some idea of what I was talking about. I felt like they were actually learning about how to avoid committing tax fraud and the benefits of democracy.

“You may go as soon as you tell me, in your opinion, which is the best car service shop in Brighton.”

“The one with the cars!” Billy said, standing and running for the door. I didn’t bother to ask him for more details.

After that, one of my students groaned and said, “Ms Frankie, why can’t we go out to lunch like the rest of the kids? I’m hungry.”

I shook my head. I’d already explained it several times over. “Do you really think playing on the monkey bars and eating a tuna sandwich is going to help you get a job? No, it’s not. Instead, we will learn about why extended warranties are better in theory than in reality, much like a prequel trilogy of Star Battles movies or anything starring both Seth Bogan and James Frankfurt.”

Hopefully one day I’ll get through to them. Otherwise, their futures might be doomed.