Second-Grade Teacher Overhyping Third Grade

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Vol 38 Issue 41

Week One Panic - Ep. 3

After a tough week one loss, Brad desperately tries to trade his entire team away. Larry Fitzgerald gives Alfred Morris some sage advice.

Former Couple To Remain Friends Until One Finds New Sex Partner

MCMINNVILLE, OR—Bryce Tornquist and Stephanie Herrick, whose three-year relationship ended in August, are remaining close friends until one of them finds a new sex partner. "We still have a lot in common, and it's really nice to have someone around who knows you so well," the 26-year-old Tornquist said Tuesday. "So, until one of us is having sex with somebody else, it really works out for both of us." Tornquist added that he really, really hopes to be the one to find a new sex partner first.

Tract Writer Cites God, Jack Chick As Influences

STILLWATER, OK—Robert Welton, founder and sole employee of Inspired Word Christian Tracts, cites God and Jack Chick as the two biggest influences on his work. "God is the one I owe the most to. Everything I write draws on something of His," Welton, 44, told reporters Tuesday. "But Jack Chick, he showed the tract-writing world how to do it. Everything from This Was Your Life to Sin Busters to the ongoing Bible Tract series are pretty much the gold standard." Welton added that Mohammed and Buddha are in their graves, but Christ's grave is empty.

Teen Anxious For Cigarette Addiction To Kick In

EVANSVILLE, IN—Ashleigh Davis, 14, who started smoking three weeks ago, "can't wait" for her cigarette addiction to kick in. "Right now, I'm smoking, like, four or five cigarettes a day, but I definitely don't feel like I'm hooked yet," Davis said Tuesday. "That's gonna be so cool when the nicotine kicks in, and I have to, like, sneak out of restaurants and stuff for a fix."

Director's Commentary For One Night At McCool's Trails Off After 20 Minutes

LOS ANGELES—Director Harald Zwart's commentary track on the recently released One Night At McCool's DVD trails off after 20 minutes, sources reported Tuesday. "This scene, I remember... we set things up to... look right and all, but I, well... you know..." Zwart said some 18 minutes into the track. "This, uh..." The remainder of the commentary features long stretches of silence occasionally broken by coughing or throat-clearing.

I'll Try Anything With A Detached Air Of Superiority

I'm a pretty sophisticated, well-educated person. I went to Wesleyan, where I got my B.A. in comparative literature. I listen to This American Life on NPR. I've traveled abroad fairly extensively and even spent a year living in London. Given all this, you'd think I might be a little staid and stodgy, that I'd shun certain activities because I'm too good for that sort of thing. That is completely untrue. The reality is, I'll try anything with a detached air of superiority.

Just Wait 'Til I Get These Fucking Rubber Bands Off

Oh, man. You just caught yourself a whole mess of trouble, pal. Believe it. I don't think you realize who you're dealing with here. You might have me in the tank for now, but just wait 'til I get these fucking rubber bands off.

The Russian Theater Raid

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Second-Grade Teacher Overhyping Third Grade

BERWICK, PA—April Niles, a second-grade teacher at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, is constantly overhyping the third grade, warning her students that "expectations will be very different next year."

The third-grade-fixated Niles works with a pair of her second-graders.

"If you think [third-grade teacher] Mrs. [Bobbie] Shuler is going to stand for this kind of nonsense, you're wrong as can be," Niles said. "If she catches you kicking a desk or running in the hall, you get one warning, and then it's off to the principal. So you'd better clean up your act, because you're in for a rude awakening when you get to third grade."

Niles, 43, frequently invokes the mysterious, unknown realm of the third grade as a means of maintaining order in her classroom. She has used the tactic to get her students to stand in a straight line, remain silent during fire drills, and pay close attention to math lessons.

"You'd all better get your subtraction down, because next year you're going to need it for long division," said Niles, seeking to quell student chatter during a math lesson. "You're going to be dividing single-digit numbers into three-digit numbers, which requires subtraction, and I know for a fact that Mrs. Shuler is not going to wait for you to catch up on things you should've learned this year."

Niles is also quick to point out the many exciting perks that await the class.

"Next year, you're going to get to hold your own lunch tickets, just like in the upper grades," Niles told her students during a recent lunch period. "Won't that be exciting?"

While Niles occasionally uses the third grade as an intimidation tactic, she also uses it as a reward.

"I really envy you," said Niles after her entire class passed a test on Pennsylvania history. "When you get to third grade, you'll get to go to see these places we're learning about. You'll get to go to Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell, and you'll get to learn more about our state's history. Maybe you'll even go to Harrisburg. I know last year's third-graders did."

Even the class pet, a hermit crab named Crabby, has given Niles occasion to describe what lies ahead for her students.

"I know how much you love Crabby," Niles said. "Well, you're all going to love next year, because Mrs. Shuler's class has a gerbil. And how well you care for Crabby this year can make all the difference. If you do really well, you can be the one to take care of the gerbil."

Though most faculty members are indifferent toward Niles' constant talk of the third grade, one teacher is concerned.

"I certainly hope those kids don't come into my class with unreasonable expectations," Shuler said. "I don't want the third grade to become a bogeyman or promised land to these kids. I just want them to come in with good attitudes and open minds, because I have a lot to teach them before they get to the really hard stuff in the fourth grade."

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