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Friday, September 11, 2009

Two Criers and a Khan Man…

Finally back in the classroom after a slow start for this year. The assignment was 1st grade and the teacher warned me that I had two criers in class. She told me that she would be on campus in training and would check in later in the day to see how things were going.

I’m pretty good with little kids. Kids this age don’t hold anything back. Feelings, thoughts, idle curiosity, random urges, everything and anything will eventually be articulated at unexpected times.

They don’t mean anything bad or nasty when they blurt out what might be considered inappropriate or rude comments coming from older kids or adults. It just means they are observant and stating an observation. Situational restraint is a learned behavior. It’s best to acknowledge their comment and try to divert attention to something else.

A little hand goes up in the back row.

Me: “Yes?”
Li’ll guy: “You have no hair on your head!”
Me: “You’re right. Ok, let’s finish taking roll call”

Before she left, the teacher informed me about the criers.

“The girl will quietly sob all day wanting to ‘go home’. The boy is extremely insecure and not at the level of the rest of the class academically. He will probably be hysterically bawling his eyes out before the first recess as he has done every day since school started. Just have the principle come get him as he has done every day since school started.”

My goal today was to see just how much crying I could stand before calling in the heavy guns.

She didn’t warn me about little Khan.

Khan simply ignored me in favor of wandering the room, bugging other kids, getting into stuff that wasn’t his. If there is one thing that can irritate me, it’s a kid that thinks he can ignore me when I call his name.

“He doesn’t speak English” was the explanation from the other kids.

I don’t care if you can’t speak the language. You CAN recognize your own name spoken loudly by the only adult in the room. I know a little “Khan-Man” when I see one.

Even if you can’t speak the language, you can get the idea that you’re supposed to be seated quietly on the floor if I use gestures indicating where you are to sit like every other kid in class is obediently doing.

And for a kid who doesn’t know English, he certainly can communicate, IN ENGLISH, with other kids in class and on the playground when he thinks adults are not paying attention. He also seems to understand English when I mention it’s time for recess, lunch, bathroom, computer lab and cleanup at the end of the day.

When the teacher came back after class to inquire how my day went, she was surprised that the criers made it the whole day without too many tears. She was even more surprised that the principal didn’t have to baby sit the bawler boy today.

I told her that whenever I saw either of the criers start to lose it, I’d call on them to come up and help me “do something” and it was enough to temporality turn off the waterworks. That had to be repeated several times today.

I also told her about my problems with her little “con man”. She related that Mom insists that he acts that way because he doesn’t know English. Mom is in denial and that’s not good. The teacher knows different. She’s seen the same things with his little “con-man” act that I saw today.

1 comment:

The Bus Driver said...

ha, one of the best moments i had in subbing was when i was in the highschool and i requested a spanish boy stop talking to his friends.. he looked at me and bluntly said "no comprende ingles." i said, "yes you do, you were speaking it to your friends now hush your mouth."