There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you haven't time to respond to a tug at your pants leg, your schedule is too crowded. Robert Brault

Whats driving a bus like? Seventy of your kids in the back seat going to town. Mr. Brandon

Friday, January 27, 2012

“English the Ever Growing Language”

Kindergartner, “Mr. Brandon, he called me a nasty name”. Now this brings up a dilemma, with older kids you never say, “What did he say?”, you understand why, with younger kids it could go either way.  So I said, “What did he call you?” Kindergartner, “Shoepid”. I’m not sure if he was insulting his intelligence or his foot wear.

“Preemptive Strike”

Kindergartner #1, “Mr. Brandon, he won’t leave us alone.” Kindergartner #2 “But I didn’t do anything.” Kindergartner #1, “You will.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

“Not My Angel”

Recently as I was taking children home after school I noticed a car behind me that was very erratic in its movements.  Concerned about such a vehicle following close to the bus I looked closely in the mirror to see if I could tell what the matter was.  I recognized the driver as a mother who I had talked to earlier in the day because her son had been put off the bus for his refusal to stay sit down. The mother had in so many words told me that I was wrong and had judged her child too harshly.  The erratic movements of the car were from her trying to smack her child who was in the back seat jumping from side to side like a rabbit.  Mom, he is just excited and misunderstood.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

“To Dream the Impossible Dream”

I try not to crush the dreams of the young or stereotype individuals but……. A kindergartner, a slightly overweight, red headed, very pale complexion kindergartner said, “Mr. Brandon let me show you my new hip-hop move.  Need I say more?

"No Batteries Required"

Kindergartner gets on the bus, "Mr. Brandon would it be alright if I get out my head phones and listen to my music?" Me, "Sure that's fine I don't care." He then proceeds to pull out a blue wire, and only a wire, that he wraps around one ear and then wraps around the other ear. Then he starts to dance around. After asking him to sit down, I ask him what he was listening to, The Beach Boys. Later he said it was a microphone and started referring to me as Commander, and started assigning jobs to the students around him. A second grade boy turned to me and said, "Mr. Brandon it’s just a wire sticking out of his ear." Me, “You know how he is." Second grader, "Yes, crazy!"


Well this was not on the bus but it did involve one of my favorite students. As I come out of the faculty restroom who should I meet but my 2nd grade hot pickle connection. He says in his slow country voice, "What you been doing in there? Taking care of your business?" Well I'm standing in front of a door that says restroom so I say, "Well as a matter of fact I was." As he walks away he says, “that’s what I thought." There are no secrets in a school.

"Man's Best Friend"

As one student brags about his new coat to another student the other students says, "My dog has a coat like that." May have to use this one in the future.

"Fill in the Blanks"

Well, we're back on the road. Everybody has new shoes to show new clothes and a few even smiled so I could see where they were now missing teeth. Many conversations going on catching up with news. Hearing just parts of one conversation between two 2nd graders maybe you could see how these go together. I'm having a problem making the connection. These are the parts I heard, "No you can't carry a machete.......... fart............. they said I was a mechanic.”

"Say Hello"

I'm informed by a child that the 2nd grader in the seat across from him is grabbing himself in an inappropriate manor. I respond with a "Stop that". Which is followed by a "But it’s sticking out". Then I say "Leave it alone". Then the kid across the aisle does his best Scarface imitation and says, "Say hello to my little friend".

"Tag You’re It"

As the kindergartner ran to the bus waving her arms in the air followed by her 2nd grade brother swinging his book bag over his head with one arm and the other arm just waving around wildly and every other step was a jump in the air. Even though the door to the house was closed I know.... I know I heard a voice say "Tag you’re it".

"Birth of a Saying".

We all use sayings every day that we understand and are often unique to our country or area. I often wonder about their origins. Today I was lucky enough to be at the birth of such a saying. 1st grader, "Mr. Brandon it’s raining like pixie dust ducks out there". Not quite sure if it will catch on or not only time will tell.

"Roller Coaster of Emotions"

Good Morning how are you doing today? 4yr old "Not good at all." then her voice goes to a mumble about sister this and sister that. Next student, “Good morning”. 1st grader "Mr. Brandon turn up some tunes, you already have, that’s what I'm talking about baby!!!" as he dances down the aisle. Next 2nd grader "Mr. Brandon lets go fishing today". Me "No it’s supposed to rain today". Then let’s go to the beach, if you’re in a hot tub in Destin the rain feels good. And from the back, 5yr old "Mr. Brandon if he keeps coughing on me without covering his mouth I'm going to get sick. As all the voices blend to a WA WA WA WA I use my best parent voice and say "YOU KIDS BE GOOD BACK THERE" That ought to take care of all the other problems.

"The Great Escape"

As students board the bus yesterday two first graders pass me without saying a word (unlike them) they set down quietly and slid down in the seat out of site (again unlike them). We start down the road and the school comes on the bus radio and says, "Mr. Brandon there are two boys that were supposed to stay for after school tutoring." Boys...Their heads pop up eyes just peaking over the seat, were you boys supposed to go to tutoring today? As they slowly disappeared out of sight I took it as an admission of guilt. Back to school we go. Another great plan busted!!!

“Love of Poetry”

Second grader shared a pearl of poetry that he learned over the weekend. I’m sure from an older sibling that has a love for fine literature. I’m not sure I would be able to do justice to the flow and meter of the verse, so I will just say it started with “The man before me left no paper.” It ended with “Smell my finger.” I am not a literature teacher but I’m sure the style was free verse.


Sisters age 4 and 5 (who look very, very much alike) get on the bus look at me and say in almost perfect unison, we are not twins today, we are not twins tomorrow. We have different coats, we have different book bags and different hair bows. I said, "I never said you were twins". They replied, “Other people have been calling us twins and if it keeps up there's going to be trouble, somebodies going to get whipped!” Then once more in perfect unison they say, "WE ARE NOT TWINS". I feel sorry for anyone who uses the T word in front of them today.

“Yes, yes I am”

 The first person on the bus each morning is a little girl in preschool. She stepped on the bus looked me in the face and said, "Mr. Brandon you suuuuuuure are lucky" then she went and set down. Yes, yes I am.

“Over His Head”

Though we are always working to increase the vocabulary of our students, I'm sure that the kindergartner had not worked on the word hypocrisy. So I thought I would try a different approach in explaining why it was wrong to give an inappropriate hand jester to the students across the aisle, especially while wearing an "I Love Jesus" stocking hat. Due to the command performance five minutes later I'm not sure I got through to him.

"Hot Pickles Update"

Hot pickles update. Student got on the bus this morning with two quarts of hot pickles. I'm afraid that I'm now in violation of the new Ethics Law for accepting them. Keep in mind if you see a second grader driving through your neighborhood, in a school bus, it is not for pickles received, it is because I believe that he, in my opinion, is truly qualified.

“Romance in the Air”

 As a little 1st grade girl runs to the bus, from behind me I hear from a 1st grade boy, "Here comes my girlfriend, here comes my girlfriend, here comes my girlfriend." As she gets on the bus he says, "Good morning...........Big Head." Oh young love.

“In A Pickle with the Law”

2nd grader: Mr. Brandon you see that spot right there? My mom got stop by the police there for speeding. Well, she was really mad at the dog for fart'n. You do not want to be around that dog after she's been eaten hot pickles.  They do the same thing to me but I go outside.  I can bring you some hot pickles if you want. How could I refuse an offer like that?

“Mystery of the Magic Wand”

Kindergartener: Mr. Brandon we have a boy dog so we won't have any puppies. I wish we had a girl dog and a boy dog with a magic wand and that way we could have some puppies. Another mystery solved.

"Oh is that All"

From the first grade crowd in the dark on the bus this morning "Mr. Brandon John is kissing Bob." While I ponder my reply John calls out, "I'm not kissing Bob I'm just licking him." Boy was I relieved.

"Action Required"

Lesson I learned from a second grader today. He said he needed to change seats on the bus because someone was hitting him in his kumbayahs. Lesson, anytime your kumbayahs are in danger move.

“Where the Buffalo Roam”

Pickups start early and lend themselves to seeing some beautiful sun rises.  On such a morning I had made several stops and was exiting the neighborhood.  The bus was facing toward the rising sun and there silhouetted against the sky was a mother buffalo and her calf.  As I was contemplating the beauty of God’s creation I heard one of two phrases that all bus drivers dread to hear, “Mr. Brandon he just threw up”.  Looking in the mirror I saw him peer over the set with his little red face and as he cleared his throat he said, “Mr. Brandon, what’s for breakfast?” Charles Dickens once penned, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”. So it is. Oh, the other dreaded phrases is "Who pooted?".