Tuesday, June 12, 2012

(any kindergarten is) Too much kindergarten.

Kindergarten again today.

If there is anything I hate more than tying shoes, it is being poked or tapped repeatedly. I made a quasi-teasing announcement in the beginning of the day asking kids to not ... touch me essentially, but some of them just can't break the habit of standing beside you or behind you and tap tap taping or poke poke poking your side and saying "excuuuussse meeeee, excusssseeee meeeee" until you turn around to learn about how Jayden stole Lisa's pencil. Or something.

These kindergartners were practicing songs for their graduating-from-kindergarten ceremony. There was a song about the flag. For some reason any school practice that encourages blind patriotrism doesn't sit  well with me. Luckily, there was only one such song. The others were a little more granola, including a song about bumblebees buzzing and having names and a song that provided an opportunity for 25 five and six year olds to flap their elbows simultaneously and shout "A BIG FAT HEN!" in unison. It was more satisfying to see than it sounds.

At one point I was sitting in the center part of a horseshoe table overseeing a group of students using scissors to cut out little graduation caps that they had colored in. I chatted casually with them as they worked. One girl stopped and asked me, "Why you talk like that?" and when I asked her what she meant, she gestured to her mouth with the business end of her scissors and clarified, "like something's in your throat."

I never realized I talked so funny until kids everywhere felt the need to point it out. But, on second thought, I think I emphasize my monotone with them, and I think they needlessly pick apart everyone about everything. There's probably some euphemistic explanation for this having to do with developmental psychology. I just find it annoying.

Another little girl started bragging about being homeschooled next year. She seemed really excited for the possibility to go to museums if she and her brother "did everything good." I wonder if it's a purely personal choice or if they've had problems with the school.

As I was enjoying the last 5 minutes of my (legally mandated half hour) lunch break, two students walked into the room. They explained to me that they had finished their lunch early and that the principal had sent them back.

I know it seems like a really small thing, but I find kindergarten especially taxing and I need every minute of solitude I can get to recoup. And, legally, doesn't that count as giving me work during my break? I told the students that if they were going to be in the room they had to just sit quietly. One immediately started talking to me and trying to tell me about whatever she was excited about. I reiterated my direction, and she sat down.

I know I'm horrible.

Monday, June 11, 2012

YOU'RE not the boss of the SCHOO-OOL.

Today I subbed in Kindergarten.

I hate kindergarten.

These children are almost first graders, but they were the worst behaved group ever.

One little girl, as I tried to gain control of the class by asking individual students and small groups of students to quit certain behaviors took it upon herself to stand up against my authority. When I told the students to stop talking or put books away, she would counter that they didn't need to put books away, that they were allowed to talk. When she began to comply with my directives, she began yelling at me to "leave her friends alone" and made sure I knew that I'm "not the boss of the school." In her most amateur (and perhaps adorably misguided) move yet, she started taunting me, trying to make me jealous because THEY get to go on the PLAYGROUND later and IIIIIII dooooonnnn't.

At different points where she attempted to bully me or fight with me, I engaged her in conversation about the thing she was saying. Asked her questions and acted genuinely excited for her.

I highly recommend this tactic. It worked like a charm, diffusing the situation as well as giving me a release of my frustrations in an imperceptible display of mockery.

Later a student complained to me: "He called me a liar!"

From behind her another student called out, "I did not!"

I tried to explain to them the irony of this exchange, but I think it might have been just over their heads.

Somehow, I managed to only tie one pair of shoes.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


"You're too beautiful for that buuulllllllshit," he says to me.

The 'bullshit' being his misguided interpretation of a facet of my most sacred emotional bond.

This 'bullshit,' determined after having known me for less than a day. After accusing me of lying about every personal detail I shared.  After questioning me about banal objects and accusing me of hiding some sentimental truth.

The only bullshit here, sir,  is telling me my business like you know me.

... and if you really understood me, you'd realize it's bullshit to determine what I deserve by my physical appearance.