My best April Fool

Every so often as a teacher you get a class of students who are just absolute stars; I don’t mean they are all extremely clever or talented, but that they have such stunning personalities  some very academic, some very sporty, some very musical, some not very good at anything very much, but just really lovely young people. I’ve been fortunate enough for that to happen a few times in my teaching career, but one class that I remember particularly fondly was the class where I played my best ever April Fool. Teachers are much better (or worse) at playing tricks on students than the other way round.

This particular class was also my form which meant I had them first thing in the morning and afternoon to take the register and spend some pastoral time with them. I also taught them English so I got to know them very well. We had a class newspaper; this was before computers so I had to type everything out and then get the technician in the library to copy it.

I had the class on April 1st, first lesson of the morning and then again in the afternoon. It was our newspaper planning day and I suggested that someone might like to interview another member of staff and write a little article about them. Two of the girls immediately volunteered but couldn’t think of who to interview. I suggested Mrs So-and-so, who had lived in France for several years, or Mr Such-a-body who played volley ball for the national team… and then running out of a third example I improvised, or Mr Hodgson who was in the army before he went into teaching. He had served in north Africa… as a camel patcher. I waited for the class to erupt with laughter but they sat smiling politely at me, waiting for me to explain.

I told them that serving in North Africa a lot of the soldiers used camels to transport goods around the desert and occasionally local tribes people took exception to them and shot at them. If a camel’s hump got punctured it would leak water, so Mr Hodgson was a camel patcher, he would repair the camels’ humps!!

Again I waited for them to laugh at me and tell me what a good joke it was, but instead the two girls were really excited at the prospect of interviewing Mr H and before I could explain the bell went and they rushed out of the classroom. I meant to try and see Mr H to explain that the two girls would be coming to see him, but I got waylaid by something and then had to teach other classes… and forgot. So when Mr H approached me at lunch-time I was alarmed that he might have been cross with the girls, and cross with me!

However, Mr H had realised it was April Fool’s day so he had spun the girls a right old yarn about it all, how he used to charge 3 dinari for one patch, 5 dinari for two and so on. In the afternoon’s lesson, I asked the two girls to report back to the class, and as they very seriously began to read through what Mr H had said it suddenly dawned on them that we had played a trick on them. The whole class burst out laughing, including me, and we were helpless with giggles for quite some time!

That really was my best AprilFool!



  1. littleboone

    Lois as you know, sometimes it’s the unplanned that amazes us as it did in your wonderful peep into the life of teachers. My favoriate teacher was an English teacher named Ora Landis who taught both writing and literature.

    Her first basic principle about writing was that if your presentation contained a misspelled word, it would receive an automatic F. We all moaned and groaned and told her this was unfair.

    To this she said unfairness is the lesson here. So, can we find out why this automatic F is not unfair? We proceeded to tell her about all the hard work it took compared to one little mistake. She said your judgment about size is the mistake.

    The misspelled word interrupts the train of thought and focuses automatically on the abilities of the writer. Isn’t this the last thing you want? So, the misspelling doesn’t destroy what you’ve written, but is not good for the whole presentation.

    The best reason an F is a fair grade for misspelling a word in a presented piece (homework) is because it’s preventable. You have to edit your own work. With spelling, go over your work word by word and for each word ask the question would I bet the lives of my parents on this spelling.

    Today it’s a much different world. Love your posts.


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