Writing my way through the school year!

It’s Sunday, so this really shouldn’t be the title of my post, but it fits so well. I thought of the title as I sat, in all places, in a church in Boston. I recently read an article about that children’s book, “Go the  F*** to Sleep”, and I think it left an impression on me. 🙂

What would make me think of “Sit your a** down!”, in the middle of the service?  A little girl.  The priest asked the children to sit in the front while he preached.  Her mom allowed her go to the front of the church with her brother.  The first time I saw her,  she was running a lap around the church.   “Thump, thump, thump!” Running, not skipping,  jogging,  a light trot, running around the church!  Her mother sat in the pew, watching, along with the other distracted parishioners.  Her mother grabbed her the first time around and attempted to keep her in the pew. The girl resisted and her mom gave her an incentive (bribe?) to encourage her to sit down.

After thirty seconds of kicking and screaming, the child was off again, this time with goldfish crackers in hand. Thump,thump, thump!, another lap until she reached the front of the church, where she plopped her body down in front of the priest.  She didn’t sit long, and did another lap until she reached her mother.   The mom tried again, this time, giving her a bottle, and then she took off to complete another lap around the church.  For the next 15 minutes,  the little girl ran around,  only to stop at her mother’s pew, deceiving her into believing that this time she would sit down.

I was able to tune them out eventually, but this scene resonated in my head as I left the church.  What is going to happen to this little girl when it is time for her to attend school?  Is this why the education system has become a “If you do this, I will give you…?” The sad part is that even with the bribes, the little girl did not sit down. She kicked, and screamed, and went on her merry way, the mother making no effort to stop her once she left the pew.

Is it a wonder that our students come to school with little respect for authority? What a huge shock to the system when a child enters a school, and they have no choice but to follow the rules.  I’m sure we have all encountered students like this.  And yes, I know from experience, how difficult it is to keep a child still, or to get them to do what we want, whether it’s in the church or in the classroom.   But we have to do it, we have to prepare our children to go outside of the home, or the classroom,  and follow the rules.  Teachers can’t compound the problem by throwing candy, or the latest incentive or bribe,  at them to get the response we want.

Of course, I would not use those words at any child, there are certainly alternatives. But if someone wrote a satirical children’s book about children who run around when they’re not supposed to, , I think “Sit Your A** Down!” would be an excellent title!:)

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Comments on: "“Sit Your A** Down!” (Excuse my Language!)" (13)

  1. I know that child for I have had him/her in my classroom many times as junior high students! You should write that book!

  2. Amen! PLEASE write that book! I want a copy to share with some parents! Loved the post!

  3. Richard Cottingham said:

    I was teaching a long time before there were public kindergartens in every school division in this state.
    When educators, parents, and schools of education were politicking to get statewide kindergartens mandated they gave a lot of lip service to the idea that Kindergarten was not for academic teaching but rather they were to get children socialized and teach them how to be in school and with other children. Reading Readiness was to be stressed but no actual teaching of reading. The same was said about math Readiness.

    When Kindergartens began to actually operate and have childrenin the classes there were rules that sounded strange at the time. Children were not allowed to have pencils with erasers. The teaching of Reading was forbidden. Children learned shapes, colors, family roles. They
    played house.

    Maybe if that was how kindergarten was run today the child you saw at church would become a better and more compliant student.
    M

  4. All I have to say to that is… “Do you WANT to go to the restroom?!?!” Ask my 12 year old that question to this day and his eyebrows perk up, he covers his a$$ with his hands, and shaking his head side to side. There is absolutely NO reason, barring any mental chanllenges, that a child should act that way in public. If that momma would have put “foot to a$$” early on, that wouldn’t have been an issue. Hello??? Who is in charge… the parent or the child?

  5. Richard Cottingham said:

    wendy,
    You believe that the soultion to misbehavior is parental violence? If a child behaves in a way that is displeasing and embarassing to parents they should hit the child.

    I am sure you are truly proud of the wonderful fact that a simple question like,”Do you WANT to go to the restroom?? evokes memmories of unavoidable pain inflicted by a loved and cherished parent. Congratulations.

    • That’s a little extreme to say when you don’t know me. What I will say to your reply however, is that though I do believe in “parental violence” as you call it, yet many would simply say a “spanking”, it has worked for my family and I. This might not be something you believe in, and that is your prerogative, however I would never try to convince you otherwise that your beliefs were in the wrong. I have a child who knows how to behave properly in public. Is he perfect, no… but he doesn’t make a fool of me or himself with his behavior, and you want to know why, because his mother took the role of parent and disciplinarian to teach him.

      And thanks for the Congratulations remark… I’m pretty proud of my kid too! 🙂

  6. Why is it that Americans feel the need to add the phrase ‘Excuse my French’ whenever they curse? I might be able to excuse them if they actually could speak French, or for that matter another language! Perhaps the phrase should be, ‘Excuse the fact that I was never taught to properly express myself.’.

    Just saying…..

    And it’s been a verrrrrrrrrrrrrry long day waiting in an airport. Guess I’m overly punchy.

    • You are right Nancy, seeing as how I have a global audience, I should be careful of the terms I use when expressing myself. As you can see I edited my title.:) I have never used profanity when I have written my posts, so I think I have done a good job of expressing myself, even though I understand your point. I always tell my son, “My vocabulary is extensive enough so that I don’t require the use of profanity.” This was an exception though, it was used deliberately to make a point. Hope you made it wherever you are going safely!

    • Nancy,

      Wow. Bad day? We’ve all been in your position and can relate. However, next time take a deep breath and try to stay away from publicly displacing your frustration with your current situation onto someone else. Especially if it means attacking someone who is a teacher. They have enough coming at them daily without having to deal with your need for a random punching bag.

      P.S. Before going off on another tangent about the use of the phrase “Excuse my French” by Americans you should teach yourself properly about its origin and history … We can thank the British for the 19th century colloquialism. It looks like you may need a lesson in not only properly expressing yourself but also properly managing your emotions like an adult.

  7. […] In my last post, “Sit Your A** Down…” I used the expression, “Excuse My French“.  A reader took me to task for the use of […]

  8. Kristine G. said:

    Great post. Classroom management eats up more time than any non-educator can possibly imagine. Write that book!

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