Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Yes, She is Blond

It's Circle Time at school, and we're talking about ants, because our theme for August is "Insects." As is common in a preschool environment, many of the kids want to share something with the group. Elfin has his hand raised, so Boss Lady calls on him.

E: "This one time, at my house, outside in the yard, I saw a line of ants, and they were marching somewhere, and I watched them walking all in a line together but in a line."

BL: "That's right, Elfin. Ants often walk in a straight line all together. Ayu, you can share next."

A: "Well, on Discovery Channel Friday night I saw about red ants and how they can bite you and they are very dangerous."

BL: "Yes, red ants do sometimes bite. But we don't have red ants around here."

Bossy stretches her hand way up high, as she has now had to wait for 90 whole seconds to share her story with the circle. Finally, Boss Lady points to her.

B: "Well, um, I have Barbie movies at my house."

Silence descends upon the group. Boss Lady and I exchange a look.

BL: "Bossy, what does that have to do with ants?"

B: "Um.... "

BL: "The answer is nothing, Bossy."

B: "Oh. Okay."

Boss Lady and I shake our heads in mild confusion and continue with our discussion. A few minutes later, Bossy raises her hand again.

BL: "Bossy, is this about ants?"

B: "Um... no."

I accidentally snort and BL glares at me with a smirk, her eyes saying, "This is only funny because *I'm* the one leading circle right now."

Personally, I still kind of want to know what Bossy was going to say. No one can ever claim she doesn't keep things interesting.


Yuriko said...

I know! I know! My mom says that grandma needs to quit wearing dresses so high because old warties tend to stare at them. :) And I also have Barney movies.

BetteJo said...

Okay maybe it was a million years ago but I think I kind of maybe sort of just ... always wanted to ... contribute ... in those situations.

Oh. Maybe like now.

Lara said...

bette jo - half the point of commenting on blogs anyway is to contribute something useless and unrelated. so here, it's always welcome. :)

Major Bedhead said...

BL sounds rather mean. "The answer is no." Snark much, lady? Jeez. Why would you talk to anyone like that, let alone a child. Poor Bossy.

Anonymous said...

"As is common in a preschool environment, many of the kids want to share something with the group." Ha ha! If that statement were a two-sided implication, we would have to conclude almost everyone is in preschool until they die.

I agree with Major Bedhead. Obviously you were summarizing an exchange in a humorous fashion, so it's not fair to conclude BL was being a b**ch from just that second-hand evidence. But I do wonder at adults who, when working with kids, behave as though they're speaking with other adults who have enjoyed the benefits of being corralled into that little fenced-in pasture that is normal adult conversation. Kids have no inhibitions and little context; why expect them to behave otherwise?

When I work with kids, I always come away feeling like I've had a good mental workout. I like to talk with them at their level: dropping all context. That can be a real challenge. For example, when E sad ants walk in a line, my immediate response would be to ask him what a line is. Try answering that question yourself. Most people get in the habit of using words without really ever thinking about the words' meaning.

B is that type of a child I view as a challenge to my own skills: could I rescue her from becoming a materialistic, vapid adult, as possibly her parents are helping her achieve?

Lara said...

major bedhead and anonymous - to be honest, it wasn't a snarky comment. it was more an honest answer because bossy really didn't seem to know. when boss lady asked her how her comment related to ants, there could have been an explanation - boss lady and i have learned that apparent non sequitors aren't always as disconnected as they seem to us. maybe barbie had a picnic and there were ants at the picnic; that kind of connection would make perfect sense to bossy.

however, bossy was confused, and obviously struggling to find a connection that she actually hadn't made. boss lady was pointing out that the answer bossy was searching for was "nothing." bossy's response wasn't dejected either; her, "oh. okay," was actually said as acknowledgment of her comprehension.

that all said, yes, boss lady can be snarky and sarcastic sometimes when the kids are getting on her last nerve. and honestly, i think it usually goes right over the kids' heads, and no harm done. but once in a while, i do think she takes it too far. this just wasn't one of those times.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I was THAT girl.

I just wanted to talk. Outloud.

Hmm...still do.

Anonymous said...

Ha, the kidlets keep on doing this too - it's not just preschool! We'll all be talking about nouns or multiplication, and there's always at least one little boy who puts his hand up and starts talking about what he did on the weekend.


Lisa said...

My third graders do the EXACT same thing. Usually with them I have to ask "are you telling a story or asking a question?"