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POTTYMINTS: TOP 5 Things We Miss about Elementary School

Hi POTTY People! 

Hope that weekend Sunburn is healing nicely!

… and for those of you that get tan with no visible redness, freckles or pain… just know myself and the rest of the pale community hate your guts (just kidding!)

Remember counting down on New Year’s Day December 31st, 2019… so incredibly excited for 2020.

With each subsequent number, the excitement continuing to build – thinking of all the things you would accomplish in 2020… 3,2,1!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! … In retrospect… the words themselves almost read sarcastically. 

2020 has been a whirlwind of emotions…

But as you know, here at POTTYMINTS we like to think about life optimistically – or as we have said in the past – the toilet bowl is half empty!

Today for some of you marks the first day of Schools re-opening, and rather than add another non-needed voice into this conversation, we figure we would reminisce about days past… and about our Look Back at our TOP 5 Things We Miss about Elementary School!


Number 2 Pencils   


Ahhh the Number 2 Pencil…The Official Pencil of the SAT test…

Growing up, I often asked myself… What happened to the Number 1 Pencil?

Although at one point, a requirement, the Number 2 Pencil was admittedly, not the best writing tool

Let’s be honest… it’s a glorified stick

It would often break its led tip…

The pink Eraser was more of a “smudge-er” than anything else… 

The best part of the Number 2 Pencil was when the tip did break, this would give you the ability to get up in front of your entire class and walk over to the pencil sharpener.

Yearning for anything other than the lesson being taught…the other students in the class would watch as you strut with your Number 2 pencil in hand and begin to sharpen.

There were two options:

 1. The Crank Sharpener:

A Medieval looking device that, in retrospect, was a fishing rod crank that happened to be redesigned to sharpen pencils

 And of course,…

2. The Electric Pencil Sharpener:

Perhaps the loudest device ever created. Although it “roared” through the walls of the classroom, that did not mean that the Pencil was sharpened.

It would often take 10-12 tries to achieve a perfectly sharpened pencil…

Each time, removing the pencil, inspecting the led tip, and making sure it was suitable for your cursive handwriting calligraphy. 

Of course, as soon as you made your way back to your desk and began to write… SNAP… the tip would break almost instantaneously.



Whole School Assemblies 


There were assemblies… and then there were Whole School Assemblies

The Super Bowl of School Assemblies…

Usually reserved for National Holidays, or Major School announcements… Whole School assemblies were the big time

Occasionally, your school would hire someone to come in and entertain the students – they seemed to be a broken individual who after trying to become a Lawyer… picked up his guitar and began performing at children’s birthday parties, only to one day pivot his business to perform during school hours.

Even as a child, I would think to myself… shouldn’t we be learning something? I don’t think my parents are paying for me to learn the “Chicken Dance” 

God forbid you spoke or whispered as the person was performing, otherwise you would be regulated to sit beside your teacher… as you both lethargically wonder what has become of your lives. 



Class Pets


Class Pets always seemed a bit unnecessary…

While the intention was pure, putting the life of a frail Guinea Pig in the hands of a group of erratic children seems like a bad idea…

Although the intention was to teach students about being gentle and respecting all animals… I have yet to hear of a single classroom where the Classroom pet lived an entire calendar school year.

The pets themselves were either Fish, Guinea Pigs or at times a turtle.

Students would take turns throughout the year caring for the Class Pet… until one day… Jenny decided to feed the turtle a Gusher snack… and next thing you know… the turtle is dead. 

During school vacations, the last thing the teacher wanted to do was care for a Pet… let’s be honest, He or She did not actually “care” for.

So they would ask the class for volunteers to take care of it during the break, only to two weeks later come back with an empty shoe box filled with a dead turtle.

In retrospect, it seems that schools only chose animals that could be easily replaced with other similar looking animals.

After all, who is going to know the difference between the old and new goldfish? 


Water Fountains

Gym class was always a Class favorite!

Playing Basketball, Soccer and Gaga was never more fun!

We all loved showing off how fast we were in our new light-up shoes, and playing a game with our friends during school hours.  

The worst part of Gym, however, was the water fountain.

You patiently waited your turn as your fellow classmates gave you a 5 Second Countdown…

5,4,3,2,1… NEXT!

It was never enough water… and that assumed that you were getting enough pressure from the spout.

While perhaps now the fastest way to get Coronavirus… those parched students who wanted to make the most of their 5 seconds, would place their entire mouths over the spout!  

Ensuring that they not only got enough water… but also contracted Pneumonia

Hydration never felt so good!



Substitute Teachers


Let me preface this by saying that this is meant with no disrespect for Substitute Teachers…

But walking into class, expecting to see your teacher and seeing a Substitute always felt like a bit of a vacation.

“Substitute” was the wrong word to use for their profession… “Understudy” doesn’t feel right either… “Stand-In” is slightly more accurate. 

Most substitute teachers’ responsibilities included handing out work to be completed relatively quickly by the class, and of course… placing the VHS tape into the TV.

Some Substitutes decided to tell you a bit about their own lives…. And while no student asked for their biography, students realized that by asking questions about their lives – it meant less time spent learning.

Some of them would take the job very seriously, immediately stepping in to the role of teacher, often disciplining students for misbehaving…

Students would think to themselves… do you have jurisdiction to do that? We just met you 5 minutes ago!

Then there were the Substitute teachers that always seemed like they were being paid by the hour, and were just trying to dribble out the clock.

Those were my favorites! They seemed more like friends than teachers!

These days… I am sure many parents would be willing to give their 401K to any substitute teacher willing to take their kids off their hands for even a few moments.


To all of you parents teaching from home for the foreseeable future, you deserve an award! You will one day look back at this experience and think to yourself that you made a significant impact on a child’s life, and for some of you even if you are able to help a child take their mind off of not being with their friends in school for a brief moment, you are truly a hero! 

For all those teachers who are going into school (with safety precautions), and teaching from your socially distant classrooms… there is a reason people call you “Essential”. You are needed now more so than ever, and while you rarely get the thanks you deserve… we are so incredibly grateful for all that you do – and it means even more during these incredibly trying times.

Happy first day of school to all those parents and teachers out there, and we hope you all stay safe and make the most of it!