One of my first conversations of the year went like this...
Teacher: "Oh you are N.K.? Are you related to G.K.?"
Teacher: "Did you know I taught G.N. in 3rd grade?"
Student: "Yes, he told me"
Teacher: "Well, how are you two related"
Student: "By our last name."
He said it so matter-of-factly. I'm sure he was probably thinking what a dumb teacher he was stuck with considering I even asked that question. After a few more "ignorant teacher" questions I did finally discover they were brothers.
Then a couple hours later as the students were completing a scavenger hunt where they had to find a student who met certain criteria such as "had a pet over 10lbs", "had two digits the same in their phone number", "had a sibling under 3 years old", I was reminded again.
Teacher: "I saw a lot of you have relatives who live in another country. Who wants to tell me where their relatives live?"
Hands go up all around the room.
I point to a student.
Student 1: "Texas"
Teacher: "Well that is pretty far away, but that is a different state that is still in the USA. It is not a country. Who else?"
Student 2: "Florida"
Teacher: "Again that is far away, but is still in the United States so it isn't a different country."
I went on to correct the misconception that neither Pennsylvania or Virginia were out of the country either.
I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard that one of my students has an uncle in London, another has family in Haiti, and another in Mexico.
Guess I know what I'll be teaching this year.