“Miss Todoroska, is there a baby in there?”
A girl in my Year One class asked as we lined up outside our classroom door. The words rang out in my head, like the vibrations of a string being plucked on a guitar. I looked at her with shock in my eyes, trying to figure out how to recover from the pang I felt in my stomach.
Obviously not pleased with how long it took me to answer, she asked again, but this time she took her finger and began pointing at my stomach. It was enough to get the attention of the majority of my class.
“Is there Miss? Is there?” she continued as I shuffled around trying to get the students into line to go to our weekly assembly.
“No, no there isn’t,” I replied sharply.
She took the hint and dropped the questioning. Yet as we proceeded to walk to the hall, I couldn’t get her words out of my head. I looked down at my stomach. Is it what I’m wearing? Is my stomach really poking out that much? Do I look fat?
All of the students and their teachers maneuvered themselves into the hall and I positioned my class behind my sister’s, who happened to work at the same school. As the students chirped away talking to each other, I got her attention.
“Do I look fat?” I signaled as I motioned to my stomach. She looked at me a little confused and signaled back, ‘talk later.’ After assembly I rushed myself to her classroom and began to fill her in on the incident that happened earlier. “Why would she ask me that? Do I look pregnant? Have I put on weight?” I asked away.
Let's face it, we all know little kids are brutally honest. So having that question come from such a young student seemed to make it bother me even more than it otherwise would.
“No, you don’t look pregnant at all,” my sister replied back to me. She went on to explain that students often ask if the female teachers are pregnant. She explained it had happen to her and several other teachers who worked at our school.
“Their families are expanding and most of their mums are pregnant, so they assume every female they come into contact is pregnant too. Don’t worry about it,” my sister said. She tried to convince me it had everything to do with this and nothing to do with weight or size.
Yet it bothered me then and as I think about it, it still bothers me now. That is, until the day I hear a student has asked a male teacher if they’re pregnant.
Has your child ever asked their teacher an inappropriate question?