“i know it’s off-subject, but…”

I love it when students ask those questions.  When we’re filling out a chart about the Virginia Statutue for Religious Freedom, and a student asks,

“Mrs. Russ, I know this is off-subject, but how do you know when someone wins a war?”

I’m always so intrigued to know how they got from point A to point B (or C, D, or Z) in their minds.  More importantly, I’m thrilled to know that they were thinking.  In my class.  Sometimes about my content. 

Today we were discussing the Preamble to the Constitution.  We were interpreting “Insure domestic tranquility” when a student raised his hand and began my favorite kind of question.

“I know it’s not what we’re talking about, but is it true that teachers used to be able to hit students?”

After some prodding, I discerned that he was referring to corporal punishment laws.  The “domestic” in “domestic” tranquility made him think of “domestic violence”, and you can fill in the rest.  Imagine his shock when I told him that some counties still technically allow teachers to paddle students because they have not removed those laws from their policies.

A few minutes later, another student raised his hand. 

“Mrs. Russ, this dude is in a game!”  He was thrilled that he had made a ground-breaking observation.  I walked over to see what he was looking at, and discovered that he had found a picture of former president Dwight D. Eisenhower. 

“You mean a board game?”  I asked.  Silly me.

“Nooooo.  A video game.  I think he’s in Call of Duty!”

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