Whereas the kids tend to have their stock three-word phrases, I have more of a four-word phrase arsenal. Here’s a sampling off the top the head.
“No doubt, rainbow trout.” (Yes. Or “Indubitably” as the Lollys say it.)
“No dice, cheese slice.” (No.)
“Let the King decide.” (When I want to give them the illusion of choice.)
“Glad I’m not you.” (A Nelson Muntz stylie ha ha.)
“Then you woke up.” (A NO! that should be obvious.)
“Don’t penetrate the bubble.” (“Don’t stand so close to me.”)
“Spit out the gum.” (“How can you spot that so well?” “I just look for the ones that look like cows.”)
“Show me the KBARR.” (Or vocabulary or book or warmup or…)
“Read, Trackword, doodle, nap.” (What they can do if they’re done with the test early.)
“Please pay the Popple.” ( For dropping a clicker or forgetting a book or renting a pencil.)
“Join me at break.” (Detention.)
“Why’re you still talking?” (Ummmm. Shut up. Now.)
“This isn’t a democracy.” (Duh. This one is especially appropriate lately, with us reading Charlotte Doyle. I think Jaggery even uses that line, or words to that effect.)
“While we are young.” (Too late for some of us.)
“You are killing me.” (I think this one speaks for itself.)
But lately, I’ve been busting out a three-word phrase much more often.
“No, you’re not.”
It’s always been a bit of a seventh grade thing to say “I’m sorry” as sort of a reflex reaction. You call them on something, and they blurt, “I’m sorry.”
“Would you PLEASE just stop?”
It’s like when the doctor hits your knee, and it jumps. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first time or the 100th time, if he hits your knee with the little rubber hammer, it will jump. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first time or the 100th time, if you call a kid on jabbering in class or being a pain in the heinie, he will say,
“No, you’re not.”
“What? Yes I am.”
“No, you’re not.” (This is kind of fun.)
“Prove you are sorry by changing the behavior.”
D’oh. That’s a whole ‘nother matter. They seem to think the phrase is some sort of “get out of jail free card,” sort of like “I was absent.” (Another classic seventh grade three-word phrase.)
I am slowly exterminating the reflexive sorry. Now that the shock of me calling BS on their pat excuse has worn off, I’ve been playing with other responses.
“Now you’re lying. I see how it is. I thought we had a relationship.”
Some of them are even starting to realize how often they do it without thinking.
“No, you’re not.”
The next step is SBD for the insincere sorry.
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Recommended by mrC
Best teenage first person narrator since Holden Caulfield, and better still, she's a girl! Highly recommended. My 17 year old and I devoured it.
Starts so normal and ends so weird. Loved every minute of it. Yes, I went and read the Edgar Allen Poe novel too. I like Little Debbies too.
- Didn’t He Used to Have a Head? (The New Guys, Part II)
- The New Guys Part I: That’s Mr. McCaw to You!
- Rerun: PIA -3 (2011)
- Somebody Stepped on a Butterfly
- The Right Tool for the Job
- Rerun: Dr. Crankenstein (2010)
- Best Thank You Note Ever!
- Rerun: Open Mouth Democracy (2009)
- Only in California
- Rerun: Sunny (2009)
- Pavlov’s Dawgs
- Rerun: Politeness Girl (2008)
- Did I just hear YOU say that?
- Talk Faster
- The New Fad
- I Get Paid the Same…
- “Oh Yeah? Great!”
- “Running” a Family
- We’ll Get to Know Each Other Plenty, Believe Me
- Open Mouth Returns (Part One), but the Revolution Will NOT Be Televised
- MCTV is Live
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- The Good Sub
- Yeah, I Think He’s the Guy
- A New Part of Speech
- A New Language
- My Classroom Crew (Inanimate Division)
- PLEASE ENTER THROUGH OTHER DOOR.
- Report Card Day (Rerun 2011)
- No Wonder They’re Always Squirming
- Five Shows a Day…
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- Ouch Indeed
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- Girls, Girls, Girls… Boiz
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- As If
- 17 Reasons: Kicking it Old School
- Ch..ch…ch…Changes! Oh Jhonny!
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- Is Your Child Ready for 7th, Oops I Mean First, Grade? (1979 Edition)
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- What Am I Going to Do Now?! (Part I)
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- Slow Don’t Necessarily Mean Stupid. (Also: Jhonny Lives!)
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- Off Topic Questions Part I
- The Cupcakes of Spurned Love Are For Sale
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- “You’re Doing So Well Now!”
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- There’s Hope for the Youth of Today After All
- I Hate to Say I Told You So
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- Guest Artist: Marion Brady is Back With Talking Points
- Slow M-ohh-tion
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- And So It Begins…Sort of
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- Steven Who?
- 48 Years!?
- The Delivery
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- I Guess We’ll See How This Goes
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- Way to Ruin the Mood
- We Interrupt This Post…
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- Heavy Mental
- Dog Days, Not Just Afternoons
- Are They Lying? Duh.
- The Long and Short of It
- Only in Junior High
- 90 Times.
- Rants and Raves
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- “The Sub Used One of Your Sticks!”
- The Future of Space Travel
- Argh…Sometimes I Hate Computers!
- Blogging the Scoring Session (Part I)
- No Groove Yet (Also: The Giver and No Homework Returns)
- Still Here
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- The 12 Days of Christmas?! (Hope it’s not ALL coal.)
- Reading and a Rerun
- An E-Mail Only a MS Teacher Could Write
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- First Videos
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- It’s Really Go Time Now
- It’s Go Time!
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- Sweat Baby, Sweat.
- You Gotta Have a Program!
- Uh Oh. (Also Cartoons.)
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- Day One, Year Nineteen: A Twitter Simulation
- LAST Post… of Summer. NOT.
- Junior High Rules; High School Drools — Part I
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- “I was sent to the box…” (Summer Rerun: Rated G+)
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- Didja Miss Me? (Summer Reading)
- What I’m Doing Instead of Blogging
- Best Misspelling Ever (Also: Research Rerun)
- Three Weeks
- You Win Some, You Lose Some.
- Walk Around
- Buy Better Erasers
- Two Tips
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- Interstellar What? (If we ever get there.)
- Failure Story
- A Vigorous Observation
- “Can I use the?”
- “My brain hurts!”
- Sox and Brewskis (The Writing Process I)
- They Sure Done Good This Time
- This Year’s Book List
- PIA -3
- 1st + 1st = 2nd
- Only in Junior High
- Blogging the Faculty Meeting III
- Blogging the Faculty Meeting (Part II)
- Blogging the Faculty Meeting (Part I)
- “EWWWW! Why would you volunteer for that?”
- I Didn’t Ask.
- Da dum…Da dum Da dum Da dum…Da dum…
- Christmas Stories
- Seventh Graders are Too Easy (Partial Rerun)
- An Artifact
- Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Tom Sawyer.
- Dr. Crankenstein
- I got what I wanted!
- How do YOU do it?
- Pssssst. Act!
- One Flood Over Cuckoo’s Nest
- “We’re all weird!” (Again.)
- Masters of Non-Sequitur
- Ooooh, Scary!
- Correction: Masters of the Oblivious.
- Masters of the Obvious – 10/25/10
- The Secret of the Cool Sub
- Just This…
- His Father’s Son. (Also: Collaboration.)
- Free Speech! (Also: Motor Trend)
- Mailbag: Writing.
- “In your face!” (More Commas.)
- Before the But.
- Hank v. Prince Redux (Also: Miracle Nap)
- We might need a second page in the dictionary.
- The List Grows
- The Three-Word Phrase List
- Clicker Issues
- Top Nine(?): Books
- The One-Eyed God
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- I can’t believe I’m planning this…
- Advice Rerun
- This test tickles.
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- Too Good…
- BTSN ’10: A New Shtick.
- 8th Grade Material
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- Bribery? Maybe. But Who Cares?
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- Normal Use
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- “Until you have kids here.” (Not already?!)
- Whatever it is…it ain’t working.
- This is what I’m working with this year.
- More Mailbag and a New Tom Sawyer Fan.
- Classroom Mailbag II
- Classroom Mailbag
- Guest Artist: Marion Brady
- Teaching is a Messy Business (Pics Part II)
- Picture Day (Part I)
- “This isn’t math!”
- Your Inner Steamboat.
- Maybe I could get used to this. Maybe.
- I Got Nothin’
- Easy…yet not. (“A Page” Part Two)
- “Go home and write a page tonight…” (Part One)
- Grandma’s Hose
- Permanent Record
- The Timer Redux
- Staff Development for the Passive Aggressive
- No, You’re Not.
- Scrape that Mucus Off Your Brain. (Also: Now I’m the Straight Man.)
- Everybody’s Special Now. (EInstruction Rules!)
- Detention. Also: Alternative Careers III.
- Have a Cigar (Also: Shmartness)
- “You don’t look as mean!”
- Test-Taking Tip
- Seventh Grader with a Badge
- What? What? (Wait for it…) OMG! EWWW!
- 120 Seconds Book List (So far.)
- More 120 Seconds Demos.
- 600 Words a Week? Easy. (Part II)
- 600 Words!? Every Week?!! Wha? (Part I)
- Joe Said Yes. (120 Seconds III)
- “I near pi_ _ed myself.” (120 Seconds II)
- 120 Seconds – The Two-Minute Book Report. (Remix)
- Mostly Rerun Because House is Back
- School Dance!
- Near Catastrophe
- Playing God II
- “You know you missed us!”
- Vacation Hiatus
- Playing God (Part One)
- The Ending (Also: ____ing beyond.)
- Sweet Release
- Thank You.
- “Where do I sit?”
- “You may lie.” (Also: MadLib)
- Parental Units
- The “Stirrings” (Again)
- Virtual Mailbag: Yes, I do.
- Happy Birthday
- New Material, and OMG, Groups!
- Only 35% New Shtuff (But it’s Gold.)
- I SAW You. (Three-Word Phrases II)
- Nature or Nurture? Intriguing Question.
- Guest Speaker: False Assumptions
- The Scream
- Guest Artist: Creating Memorable Characters (Also: Chapter 6 rerun.)
- 57% New Material (Chapter 5 and Richard Cory)
- The New (but really old) Quiet Stick
- Friday Follow-Ups
- Hank vs. Prince. (Also: “Lean meat?”)
- 528. (Do the Math II.)
- “…more than I can chew.”
- 50% New Material
- “Can we read Outsiders today?”
- Dot Dot Dot (Also: 4.7 miles!)
- “But he’s been working so hard.”
- Snnkkkttt! (Also: Adjectives)
- 33 % New Material
- Too Quiet
- BTSN ’09
- “Rock Star”
- Hey Kid! (Guest Speaker)
- Mailbag: Vocabulary and Grammar
- Big Hat
- Mailbag: The Holy Trinity
- Something New.
- “Well at first, I was like…”
- CTEL in SF Part III
- CTEL Purgatory (Also: The Homeless as Performance Art)
- Rookie Year – 1991 (Part II)
- Guest Artist. From 1991.
- CTEL H-E-Double Toothpicks
- Do the Math.
- “There’s already something on the back of mine.” (Also: Racial Harmony.)
- More Research Follies (Also: “How do I raise my grade?”*)
- Shameless Hucksterism (CPS.mrcoward.com)
- Make the Kids do the Work. (Tips III)
- Out of Bounds
- Open Mouth Democracy?
- Research This II. (Also: More Obliviousness.)
- Research This.
- A True Blast from the Past (Vacation Filler)
- Ewww. (Moral Relativism in 7th grade.)
- Telepathy vs. Reality
- “I was sent to the box…”
- I’m back, baby. (Though not officially.) Also: RaffleKing Jr.
- What’s a Rerun of a Flashback Called?
- What if they…? (The Gas Effect.)
- Career Opportunities II (Also, homework.)
- Homework Poll
- Alternative Careers (Pink Friday Special)
- Three-Word Phrases
- Insert the G.
- Mr. Coward’s Snappy Answers to Questions They Should Already Know the Answers To.
- “I like the old ones better.”
- “That’s student teacher, not guest teacher.”
- Flash(way)Back II
- “We interrupt this tragedy to bring you some comedy…”
- Sometimes they’re actually listening!
- Lines of the Week (Sandwiches and Spanking?)
- Super Teacher! (Not me.)
- Mailbag: Hovercraft? What hovercraft? (Also, Dr. Seuss)
- Still Here Blogging… (Wiki Wiki)
- Out-to-Lunch Middle Schoolers Say the Darnedest Things
- Doodle Prank and Panic
- There were tears in our eyes.
- They killed the King!
- OMG! Haircut!
- It’s only 120 seconds. (Of terror. Also, more cartoons.)
- Cartoon Fun II.
- Cartoon Fun! (Also: The Popple)
- A Typical Day – Part One (Mailbag IIa)
- Mailbag I: The Paper Load
- Politeness Girl
- “I like how you’re all mean.”
- “He did?” (Also -ism #9: Am I exempt?)
- “-isms” Part II (KBAR)
- “But, what’s a…?”
- “-isms” (Also: mucous)
- “It’s how I was taught!”
- “It works!”
- Sage in the Chair (CPS still rules.)
- “…flopping around at the end of the rope.”
- Beauty Snacks
- “Do you love me?” (Also: Weird “Week”)
- Mix It Up (but not too much).
- Purple Cape
- Guinea Pigs
- The Stirrings (snicker).
Mr. Coward has been teaching on the beautiful central coast of California since 1989. He sometimes tweets when he's in the right mood: @mrCinSLO.
Recommended by mrC