What NOT to Ask a Fourth Grader

I subbed for a friend in church Wednesday night. 4th and 5th graders. No problem, right?


The first assignment she had planned was “get to know you” questions. I decided to add a few things to the list. Along with name, school, and hobbies, I included “secret info.”Elementary teachers are groaning. You don’t ask 4th graders to tell secrets! But I am a high school teacher. When I ask this, my students say stuff like, “I can eat a gallon of ice cream in one sitting,” or “I still watch SpongeBob.”

And, really, the whole thing was going fairly well with these 4th and 5th graders. Except the kids were saying stuff like “I have 5 siblings” and “My dog is named Fido.” Not really top secret, but fine. The goal was to get to know them, so that worked.

Then we got to the last kid. I knew I was in trouble as soon as I looked at him. He had a wicked gleam in his eye. “I have a secret,” he says (insert maniacal laugh here). And he stands up and looks at the the kids and says…

“There’s no Santa!”

Next time, I’ll stick to the script.

But I think I might not be asked to sub again. Ever. And that’s no secret.

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