New “Bad Teacher” blog feature (Chapter 1: I lied to a preschooler the other day)


A few days ago, a preschooler asked me what the antenna did on a car

or as he put it

that “thin silver thingie that goes up and down”

I was about to answer when it occurred to me that my grasp of radio science wasn’t exactly strong

and that even if that were not the case,

he probably would have gotten bored midway through my explanation and returned to his car drawing

so I lied

“Oh that thing? That’s just the ice cream man detector

it tells you whether an ice cream truck is nearby

if it goes up, then chances are he’s within a mile or so

if it doesn’t then he’s very far away, in another town.”

it wasn’t my proudest moment

and I’m not certain he believed me.

After I said it,

this boy who has only known me for a week now

chuckled to himself

then looked at my expression to see whether I was being serious

before turning to another classmate to tell her about

what I had said with regard to the ice cream truck locator

you may think what I did wrong

but I assure you it was for the kid’s benefit

because, you see, as a teacher you can’t ever not know

I once saw a colleague try that approach

with a kid

who was asking “how is it that an airplane can fly?”

The teacher, bless her heart, replied simply, “you know Grace, I don’t know.”

well, that poor girl

turned to stone right in the middle of storytime

and sure she became an interesting piece of art from then on

but her parents weren’t thrilled at their new acquisition

So these days I never hesitate to lie to a youngster

about all sorts of things

meteorology, computers, how the internet works, why parrots can talk, why ice is slippery, why some kids are mean poopyheads, what causes a rainbow, and yes, just what exactly an antenna has to do with Justin Bieber belting out songs inside the family Versa.

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3 thoughts on “New “Bad Teacher” blog feature (Chapter 1: I lied to a preschooler the other day)

  1. Brieuse Bernhard Piers-Gûdmönd says:

    Excellent! Although I don’t believe a word you just said…

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