Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Everyone needs attention

This has been an unusually busy week for me – and it’s only Wednesday. This weekend is homecoming at the old alma mater so that will keep me a little busy, but it won’t be too bad. Most of my stuff will involve athletic activities which I enjoy anyway.

But early this week – like yesterday – I was busy with other activities. It was TAKS testing day in Texas and for those of you who know, the TAKS test is one of the most moronic, idiotic, imbecilic excuses for a government regulated exam that anyone could have come up with.

I can just see the unintelligent legislator who happened across this idea … “Let’s take our entire education system, boil it down into one test and force our children at threat of life, limb and well being to complete this test that doesn’t even make sense to the adults who look at it. And furthermore, everything that every teacher in the entire state of Texas does or says throughout the course of a school year is based solely on the outcome of this one test. And whether or not they are competent enough to teach shall be determined by how some uncaring, degenerate of a third grader performs.”


Anyway, Tuesday was TAKS day which means all the kids in kindergarten, who surprisingly do not have to take the test, need to be shipped out of the school so they won’t disturb those who are taking the test.

My 5-year-old teenager, being of kindergarten age, was being shipped to the metropolitan area 45 miles south to take part in a tour of the Science Spectrum.

I was fortunate enough to be able to accompany my child. Parents of various children went on the trip and were asked to be responsible for children as they toured the facility and played with the various science experiment type stuff.

Everyone who knows me knows how much I enjoy the company of small children. Those who don’t know me should understand that I have been barred by my wife from ever becoming an elementary school teacher because my idea of discipline is to take the first youngster who acts up in a class, bleed him, hang him in the corner and let him drip. I guarantee the rest of the students will behave accordingly for the entire year. Unfortunately, some people would look unkindly on my methods of discipline and might even consider them somewhat extreme.

As we entered the Science Spectrum I noticed that the students in my daughter’s class had selected buddies for the day. My child’s buddy was a young girl who is known to be a trouble maker. My child, God bless her, has chosen to befriend this girl because many of the other students want nothing to do with her.

Therefore, the students I was responsible for were my daughter and her friend. The assistant teacher looked at me apologetically when asking if I would take responsibility for her.

I said I would and you know what? I didn’t have a single problem with her. It was simply a matter of proper communication.

Sure, she got a little rambunctious at times but when she threatened to hit me I calmly looked her in the eye and explained that if she it me, it was only fair that I get to hit her back. When she was bothering me at another point, I told her that if she didn’t stop it, I was going to pull her hair.

“No you won’t,” she challenged.

“Yes I will,” I said matter of factly.

“But I’m just a kid,” she said.

“So,” I replied. “That’s still no excuse to be mean to me. Therefore, if you are mean to me, I am going to be mean to you.”

Apparently she had never had an adult, much less an adult male, explain things to her. Perhaps she doesn’t have much structure in her life. I didn’t get mad at her. I didn’t yell at her. I calmly just told her what I was going to do and made her believe it.

At other times, if she started to get a little wild, I would simply change the subject and talk to her about other things. She would participate in the conversation and would refrain from acting up.

I had no problem with her and all in all we had a pretty good day. As we sat through a movie in the Science Spectrum’s Omniplex, she fell asleep while leaning against my arm. And she even made sure to run over and give me a hug before they loaded the bus to go back to school.

Although I typically cringe at the thought of being around children who don’t belong to me, I also kind of feel sorry for those kids who aren’t given a chance. Everyone expects her to be a trouble maker when really, she isn’t a bad kid. She just needs someone to pay attention to her.


SpookyRach said...

She hugged you!


Jackson said...

Simple case of self fulfilling prophecy. They expect her to be bad and express that through their actions, so therefore it becomes a reality. Some of these kids are never given a chance to show how good they really are, instead they are labeled from day one.
Interesting note that the majority of those that thought the TAKs testing was such a wonderful idea, either home school or send their children to private schools. I noticed with the upcoming election, that those which claim to be so concerned about education, either send/sent their kids to private schools or home schooled.

little david said...

School outings can be such a revelation, can't they? When we lived in California, our second grader went on a field trip and I was one of the drivers. When I told my son that his mom had something planned for us after school, a boy in the back seat said, with considerable incredulity, "You live with your mom and your dad?"