As a kindergarten teacher, I spend way too much of my day trying to get young folks to sit still and pay attention. Often, this is a losing battle. Today, one of my students had spent much of the morning avoiding following directions, so he was missing part of his free choice time as a consequence. I'm very mean. So I go to sit down and talk to him about the situation. We talk about the need to listen and follow directions, and mostly this means I say things like "did you make a good choice" and he says "no," and I say "will you make a better choice tomorrow?" and he says "yes." So a lot of "yes" and "no" on my student's part. And this is what transpires:
Me: Do you think that you would get more points from your friends for doing the right thing and listening and following directions?
Student (chastened): No.
Student (looking at me, seriously): I don't understand what you are saying.
At this point, I burst out laughing, lecture over. I didn't really understand what I was saying, either.
On Raising a Perfect Black Boy
3 years ago