Wednesday, March 10, 2010

4th Grade Angst

I spent my day with 4th graders. THE ATTITUDE IN THAT ROOM WAS STIFLING. I wanted to sit them down and say, "Look. You're not even in middle school yet, and that shit is terrible. Maybe you should save all this for 6th grade."

One boy, A, was getting on my last nerve. I encountered him twice today. He was full of attitude. He ran through a battery of surly behavior, including (but not limited to) ignoring me, defying my instructions, talking back, yelling in my face, and doing whatever the hell he wanted. When it came to the yelling in my face, treating me as though we were peers, I very politely offered him an escort to the principal's office** at the end of recess. I mean, was he serious? Since when is it appropriate to yell at an adult? About something as asinine as a football? A FOOTBALL. Nobody was dying. There was no danger whatsoever. (Except A getting a slap in the face.) I'm just saying, that did not fly when I was in 4th grade.
At least he had the good sense to look ashamed and not make eye contact when I returned the offending item and threatened to call his parents at the next hint of that tone of voice. Punk.

Another boy swore casually in conversation today. I told him it was not warm enough yet to be outside in just short sleeves. "But I'm hot like hell!" he blurted out. EXCUSE ME? He said it "just slipped out."
"You shouldn't even be thinking that." (Whatever, yeah I sound like my mother. Shut up he is 9 years old that is not appropriate.)
What I REALLY wanted to say was that he wasn't even using it correctly! I mean heaven's sake boy, if you're going to curse at least have the common decency to do it properly! Clearly we haven't covered prepositions yet.
--Oh wow. For the first time ever, I have a small appreciation for my 8th grade English teacher who made us memorize 100 prepositions and take a test on them over and over until we aced it. It was excruciating. Also a waste of time. But at least I now see a real world application. Huh. Go figure.--

On a positive note, I was the subject of a haiku poem. A, a girl I've known since her brother was in my 1st grade class last year, is wonderful. She's the kind of student you want cloned. And I would have told you all that yesterday.
But today. She brought me a sheet of paper and said, "I wrote you a haiku." Adorned with flowers and a little "I <3>
Allow me to share:
You shine like a star
Your smile brightens the room
You're very pretty
It's the best poem ever. It's a masterpiece.
My day was awesome. Kids swearing, kids giving me shit...whatever. I'm an inspiration.

**Or maybe I raised my voice a tad to suggest that one does not speak to adults in such a fashion. Which might have been followed by the offer of chatting with our administrator. I can't recall.

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