Why Tzst Teacher?

I believe in teaching kids to think, so when I taught Kindergarten, I would often play with them with language–if they asked “can I go to the bathroom?” I would respond, “I don’t know, can you?” They soon learned to ask “May I go to the bathroom?” I would then respond, “Of course you can, you don’t have to ask.” (We had a bathroom in our room.) They soon learned to just go when necessary.

Or, when a child would come up and say “Can I ask you a question?” My response would be “Of course not, You’re not allowed to ask questions in school.” Some little ‘uns would then turn to walk off. . . .(I would catch them) but some would stand there a second and look at me, pondering what to do. I would tease them a few more sentences worth and then let them ask their question. . . but what happened is that they began paying attention to how they phrased questions and thinking about my responses.

I would give silly answers whenever I could–especially to questions they already knew the answer to, so they would say “No, that’s not right.” I could then ask them why they asked me if they already knew the answer. My goal was to get them to think and engage the other person thoughtfully.

They would often say “Ms. White, you’re teasing again!” One child, Aynsley, called me the teasiest teacher. I was actually pretty proud of that label. ๐Ÿ™‚

The next year I moved to another school and again taught Kindergarten. In that school, I had another child, Joseph, say almost the exact same words–“Ms. White, you’re the teasiest teacher in the whole world!” At that point I knew what my vanity license plates would be and promptly ordered them–VA license “tzstchr”.

The name has stuck, and when I began a blog, I knew that had to be the name of it.

4 thoughts on “Why Tzst Teacher?

  1. Pingback: Do We Send Him to K or Wait a Year? | Reflections of the TZSTeacher

  2. I often wondered where that came from, thanks for sharing. With two teachers in the house my kids learned at a very young age what sarcasm is. My oldest wasn’t even 4 yet and she would look at us and ask, ‘Are you being tar-tass-tic?’ (And we usually were!)

    My Pair-a-dimes for your Thoughts came from the fact that I always added more than my 2ยข worth when sharing my views on things and I also liked the double-entendre with ‘paradigms’ which I think we are very often stuck in when talking about education.

  3. I laughed when I read this because this is exactly how I taught!

    When I child would say, “My pen ran out!” I would run to the door of the classroom and ask, “Which way did it go?”

    Child: “Can I borrow a tissue?”
    My response: “No!” I do not want it back!

    Child: “Do you have a pencil?”
    My response: “Yes!” and I would walk away. etc.

    You are now on my Blog page: http://cybraryman.com/blogs.html

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