Silver Lining: that time I made my students cry {on purpose}

April 1, 2013

that time I made my students cry {on purpose}

I blame it on my mother. She was a huge April Fool's Day fan, and I grew up with switched cereals, turned-back clocks, and crazy sack lunches on April 1st. (I'm still trying to figure out how she unsealed a small bag of chips, replaced the contents with pistachio shells, and then resealed the bag with air in it and everything. How do you do that?)

Needless to say, April Fool's Day is one of my favorite holidays.

And disclaimer: only one student actually cried.


School isn't in session today due to spring break, so I knew I had to get my students beforehand. I turned all their desks upside down on Friday (a warm-up, children. A mere warm-up), and they laughed as I denied everything and they turned their desks right-side-up.

Then, after art, I dropped the big one.

"Today we have a 6th grade placement test. If you do well, you'll be with the smart kids in 6th grade. If you do poorly, you'll be with the low kids next year." (which goes against everything I know about teaching. My cute perfectionist students automatically started freaking out.)

I told them it was a 2-page test, and the more they wrote, the better their chances would be of getting in a fun advanced class next year. I made them all separate their desks and get out two sharpened pencils.

Page one was a bunch of random big words I strung together. "Describe the similarities and differences between hyperbole and synecdoche." "Write an essay about a novel you've read recently, telling how the counterpoint rhythm compares with the dramatic irony in the book."

I know, right? Doesn't even make sense. They went crazy. Rocking back and forth, wiping their forehead, tapping their pencils, looking panicked in general. This is the point in which one of my students actually started crying, the poor thing (but it was so funny) (I'm a terrible person).

Once everyone turned in their first page and got the second page, which told them it was a joke, they were FURIOUS!

They wrote me notes like this:

The threats continued throughout the day. I'm pretty sure they were plotting something for when we return from break, but hopefully they'll have forgotten by then.

Ah, April Fool's Day. So good :) And next year I'm going all out, telling them I'm pregnant and can't teach anymore, or that I'm moving, or SOMETHING. It's going down.

What jokes are you pulling this year?
And how mean am I on a scale of 1-10?
Or maybe don't answer that...

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  1. Oh my goodness!! That's hilarious. Seriously an awesome prank.

    Looking Up!

  2. hahahaha oh brooke :)
    see you in an hour:)

  3. Such a good idea to distract them with the first prank so they're not suspicious about the bigger one! I'm not a big April fool's person, but you've inspired me!

  4. Oh you are so funny! I probably would have been the student that cried! lol
    Such a good one. But I'm hoping no one does any funny business with me today. I'm half asleep so I know they'd get me!


  5. OMG. That is totally awesome. They are totally going to remember that forever and look back and laugh.

  6. That's hilarious. That is the kind of thing that would scar me for life if a teacher had done it. Awesome! My blog post today was an April Fool's prank, I was surprised by how many people were tricked!

  7. I would have been the one sobbing, haha.

  8. This is so great! This is exactly why I love elementary school- so much fun!

  9. Oh too funny!! i didn't get anybody with an april fools day joke this year :/

    xo erica

  10. My students wouldn't even be able to answer those questions! Well done! How long did you make them squirm it out?

  11. We told some of the kids that Dublin had to be put down (because I took her to the vet, so they knew something was wrong with her.) But after you pull too many April fools jokes, they start to expect them. I fooled Jake, but not Stu.

  12. This is the FUNNIEST thing I've ever heard. So hilariously tragic that you made them cry... hahaha



  13. I just found your blog & I'm now your newest follower. Another teacher here & I'm absolutely loving this joke. I teach 2nd grade and I imagine i'd have a whole slew of my little ones in tears if I attempted this.

  14. Too funny! Be careful my dance teacher told us she was pregnant for April fools and in September she found out she really was pregnant!


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