Pulling pranks on unsuspecting students has become my new pastime. They are always small things, but even the smallest prank, timed well enough, is sure to throw kids for a loop.

The best is when there is only one other student who saw me prank someone. So, when a student can’t find something of theirs, or figure out who tapped their shoulder, or who moved their desk, I get to watch the one witness sputter and blubber, swearing to no avail that it was me. I usually let the single witness take the blame.

They are the lamest pranks in the world, really. But that’s exactly why it’s so great. My students actually, miraculously, see me as an adult.

That’s their own fault. It’s also how I get away with such elementary pranks.

I particularly love picking on the loudest students in the class. I actually have one student who will scream “WHY!!” and run away from me every time I mention purple converse shoes. His pen case, until recently, had been one purple converse. Naturally, I asked him where the other one was. And then again about 20 times. Complete with fast English and stalking him around the room relentlessly. He had no clue what I was saying, as was expected.  Needless to say, I’ve probably scarred him. But I’m also fairly certain he will miss me when he graduates.

Another student recently trapped himself by thinking that he could make a deal with me during class. This particular student didn’t want to do the worksheet during class. He casually plopped down next to me, crossed his legs and arms, and said, “Rachael, let’s talking.”

After I told him several times to do his worksheet, a friend of his scooted up to the heater to watch the encounter. This trouble student ended up proposing, in quite atrocious English, that he really ought to speak English with me rather than do the worksheet, because, “No worksheet. I not like.” He then suggested that we play rock, paper, scissors to see if he had to do the worksheet.

Needless to say, I changed the deal. “If I win, you do your worksheet. If you win, you do your worksheet. OK?”

“Ohh, yes! OK, yes. C’mon!”

The friend standing nearby happened to understand what I did, and settled in to watch the show.

I lost, the kid rejoiced, I told him to do his worksheet, he claimed he won, his friend told him what I had done. He clutched his head and screamed, “NOOOO!” (I should mention this is at my rowdy school where I’m lucky if I have five boys in their chairs and their voices are somewhere below 90 decibels). I was quite satisfied, as was his friend.


My most recent experiment is placing things on students heads when either I or my JTE are conversing with them. So far, all of the students I pick end up walking around the room like a princess (even the boys) with a book on their head. That or they completely freeze up, eyes wide in confusion. Interestingly enough, they never ask why I put it on their head, nor do they try to remove it. The majority seems to embrace their inner princess.

Today, however, my own trolling came back to bite me in the butt. I entered my sixth grade class, readying myself to energetically greet the students, but when I opened the door I saw one of my lazier (and popular) students with her head down on her desk, seemingly napping.

At this point, my body must have naturally responded to the opening (I don’t even remember thinking anything), and I tiptoed into the class feeling quite thrilled. I have no clue what my facial expression was, but it must have let them know my intentions because the entire class refrained from saying the ritual “hello”, and held silence to avoid giving me away. I crouched a couple of inches away from my student and bellowed a heavy, “HELLOOOOO!” directly into her right ear.

She didn’t even flinch.

It took me a second to realize that my JTE was talking to me. Turning to look up at him from my crouch, I finally understood what he had said. “Umm… Rachael. She is sick.”

Horror struck, and I looked back at my student, who now had her head up inches away from mine, staring at me with glazed eyes, sniffling under a mask enveloping half of her face.

She spent a good  ten minutes rubbing her temples after that.


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