Attempting to be funny, Sherman asked our eccentric math professor what “infinity” was.
The professor smiled and took a piece of chalk and drew a line around the room fifty times, before dragging it past the classroom door, down the long corridor, to his car.
We never saw him again.
Ran Walker is the author of the forthcoming 50-word story collection THE STRANGE MUSEUM. He credits this site with inspiring him to write so many stories.
My heart has shattered and the shards are everywhere.
Each shard a memory, each memory most precious.
Goodbyes were said, tears were shed, hugs gratefully given and received.
The end of the school year; I will never see most of these students again.
China is a long way from America.
Daniel Quillen is retired and living in China, teaching English at a Chinese university. He just wrapped up his final semester there.
The lesson wasn’t going well. Lucy was trying to concentrate, but she couldn’t. Games, phone calls, messages, viral videos—everything was distracting from her work.
“If you use your phone, at least turn off the sound! It’s impossible to study!” Lucy snapped, even though shouting at the teacher was rude.
Sophie is a high school student from Ukraine. She’s been studying English for five years and she loves writing stories, so 50WS is a great combination of her favourite hobbies.
Eagerly anticipating our exam grades, we were shocked when Mrs. Johnson entered the classroom with a shopping bag full of shredded paper.
She said, “Forget everything I’ve said up to this point about how it’s your responsibility to keep your work out of your dog’s reach.”
Thomas raised his hand.
James W. Davidson, Jr. majors in philosophy and English at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC.
She was a beloved skilled teacher. Her classroom was ruled with a quiet discipline that eluded many.
Then one day she came in with a new haircut, and everyone saw that there was no secret or exceptional teaching skill; she really did have eyes in the back of her head.
Jackie Kingon has published two articles in The New York Times, a feature piece about her experiences teaching in an inner city school in the south Bronx, titled A Year in the Trenches, and Beautiful Music, about an autistic musician. Her futuristic comic mystery, Chocolate Chocolate Moons, is called “delightful” by Kirkus Review and “a humorous romp sure to please” by Midwest Book Review. She has finished the sequel, Sherlock Mars.
I’m late for the lesson.
Old Crouch the Grouch smiles pleasantly. I sit down.
Why isn’t he screaming at me for being late? What’s all this coloured Plasticine for on the desks? Why’s that music playing? Why’s he wearing a suit? Why’s everyone working?
Then I notice her. Ofsted inspector.
Arthur Brown had a long career in teaching. He saw a lot of changes and never did really get used to them. He draws comfort from the fact that no-one else seemed to either.
“Catrina,” said Professor Brownhair, “you’ve been marking students’ papers with blue ink. What is the meaning of this!?”
“Red is so… angry,” said Catrina.
Professor Brownhair proffered a photograph of a winged child holding a pickaxe. “They mine the red ink,” he intoned. “Save the cherubs’ jobs, Catrina. Save them!“
“So can any of you tell me the answer to five times seven?” asked Miss Flannerty. “Don’t be shy!”
Billy and Bobby and Suzie played silently with their pencils.
“Kelly, do you know the answer?”
“No,” whispered Kelly.
“That’s ok!” said Miss Flannerty. “It’s the same as my age! Twenty-three!”
“Welcome to third grade!” said Miss Flannerty. “Let’s get to know one another! Tell me your name and your favourite drink!”
Billy and Bobby and Suzie liked apple juice and iced tea and Kool-Aid.
“That’s great!” said Miss Flannerty. “My name is Karen, and I like absinthe! Taste test, anyone?”