Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Grade 7 Angst

Attitude is a Little Thing that Makes a Big Difference. This was the banner splashed across the top of the bulletin board in my classroom today. What a true statement.  Unfortunately this doesn't ring true only for a good attitude.  A bad attitude in a class can make a huge difference, especially in the life of the supply teacher who gets to deal with it.

So I have now completed one day of my LTO.  You can tell the nature of my day, by my choice of topic.  Bitter little individuals with huge senses of entitlement, tiny vestiges of fair play and enough angst to choke a horse.
I'm still kind of wondering how it happened.  How did I end up supply teaching most of my days in intermediate, middle school settings?  My qualifications state quite clearly, Kindergarten to Grade 6 (primary/junior). 
Now don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy teaching adolescent students, one on one, or in small groups.  In fact that is probably my favourite age group to have a teacher / student conversation with.  However, it is the pack mentality that erupts in the 7/8 classroom that disturbs me.

Someone can clearly be acting the fool.  If you reprimand that individual, suddenly six people are yelling "unfair".  I think it is this sense of entitlement that really irritates me.   Our little darlings have been born with silver spoons dangling from their privileged lips.  Unfortunately too many parents have fallen under the spell of their charmed offspring.   Behold, we must never do anything to crimp the creative urges of the next Wayne Gretzky.  Heaven forbid we teach that "no" really does mean NO, and not just, "let's bargain our way to a compromise", that benefits only the negotiator (you got it -- the child).

But I don't want to be too disparaging of the next generation.  They will be the ones who institute policy, dole out our meagre pensions, and ultimately choose my nursing home in my dotage.  Being slightly egocentric myself, I worry how much care and concern will be lavished upon yours truly, when I meekly ask Johnny to change my diaper, the same Johnny, I sent to the hall for playing with his IPOD in class.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

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