Be careful how you say what you say.

I was once without a TA for an afternoon when two boys in my year 3 class bumped heads. As young boys do, a race began to see who could get back to their table the quickest, but I didn’t know about this until after they had bumped heads and I asked why they were running anyway. I distinctly remember watching them both sit down at the same time and over lean as they perched when their heads knocked together. I heard the collision of heads and felt the bump immediately as it happened in front of my eyes. I sent another child to the next classroom to ask whether I could borrow the TA. Feeling around the collision points on their scalps for any bumps, I thought it would be best to get some ice packs anyway. 

The TA from next door walked in and I explained the situation. She was very kind and offered to take the boys away to fetch ice packs and sort bumped head letters for them. But as she walked away from them she blurted out “Come on then boys, let’s have a look at your nuts!” We both looked at each other horrified. We both knew what she meant really, but it just sounded so wrong. She back tracked quicker than a child who had been caught in a web of lies. I had to explain to the rest of the class that when she said nuts she actually meant heads. “Years ago people would call their head a nut. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know why…” That ended that conversation with the class and the boys returned with ice packs wrapped around their nuts I mean heads a few moments later.

We still chuckle about this now, even 3 years later. I made her a birthday cake in the shape of a squirrel that year just to keep the joke running! She even bought me a large cushion with a picture of a squirrel and its nut on it, for Christmas a few years ago. Whenever I find a picture of a squirrel on Facebook or Pinterest, I send it on to her and we both have a giggle. Sometimes you have to laugh about these situations, otherwise the job becomes too serious and we lose our marbles. Or nuts.

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