Ahlie means right? Or truth. I learned it from my students this year who harped on me for using the Oxford Dictionary over Urban Dictionary. The amount of times I’d mispronounce one of their words and get called uncool was one for the books. I’d give them the same look they gave me when I posed a challenging word problem, a what is happening brow. Urban Dictionary very quickly became a top site on my browser as communicating with my students on their level could mean that I’d be one of the ‘cool’ ones. However, it wasn’t only words from the Urban dictionary that I needed to get on board with but it was also words that my students were making up themselves.

I overheard giggles and whispers during some independent math work, walked over and saw a list of mixed up letters that I thought needed to be unscrambled. I was quickly informed that those were in fact words my students used during their daily social time. In my defense, some words looked like a cat had walked over my keyboard, rolled around for 5 minutes and then walked off. How was I suppose to know what those words meant? He smirked and said, “Well, I was hoping that you could infer from the sentence I just said. Isn’t that what you taught us?”

I was both appalled and impressed by the fact that one, he had been paying attention in class and two, he had the audacity to use my own words against me. I was also baffled by the fact that he made the assumption I’d know what his made up word meant (Yeah, my bad). If I didn’t understand my students there was no way they would understand me. Ahlie?

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