Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I have a kindergarten story to share today.

I should warn you that it requires the repitition of
a word some will find offensive.

Just know that the teacher involved was just as
shocked as you will be.  Heh!

Our school is blessed with an abundance of children
for whom English is not their native language.

In fact, we have been so blessed for many, many
years now. Make no mistake....I use the word blessed
with absolutely no sarcasm.

We love our ESL babies!

As always, names have been changed to keep me out
of trouble. Smile!

Over time, we all learn to listen with half an ear to our
students as they talk with each other during those activities
that permit a little socialization.

It is amazing what you can learn during these child to child
discussions and we all learn to pick up on certain words.
Some words can give us insight into a student's recent
behavior and other words like, 'Don't tell!' alert us to
impending trouble.

And then there are the notorious Kindergarten
bad words-sometimes called cussin' words.

These words would include
the F word (Fat or Fart),
the D word (Dumb),
the S word (Stupid or Shut-up)
and the ever popular poop and pee.

Occassionaly, a child will utter a real cussin' word and
this was what became apparent one afternoon in a
co-workers classroom.

While working individually with a child, the para-professional
in the classroom realized that one of the ESL kiddos was
vehemently repeating the phrase 'Oh s#*t!' over and over to
his partener in crime.

She sternly marched the offending party to the teacher and
had him confess his sin.

What folows is the conversaiton as re-told to me.

Teacher-Melvin, what did you say?
Melvin-I jus' say oh s#*t.
Teacher-(gasping) Come out here in the hallway with me right now!
Now tell me again what you said.
Melvin-(matter of factly) I jus' say 'oh s#*t'.

While you let this sink in let me explain. We have learned
over the years that our ESL buddies often have no idea that
what they are saying is offensive. We have also found that you
must tell them exactly what it is they said that was unacceptable.

Just trust me. It is waaaay better to be specific.

Back to our story...

Teacher-You can't say 'Oh s#*t!' at school, Melvin.
Teacher-You can't say 'Oh s#*t!' at school. S#*t is a very bad word
and we never, ever say s#*t at school.
Teacher-Even if your parents say s#*t or you hear it on t.v. you aren't
allowed to say that word.
Teacher-Why did you say it, anyway? (We always ask this. I don't know why)
Melvin-Weeeeeell, I jus' say to my frien' dat Sponj Bop, he lif in de oh s#*t
wif Patrick.  I din know eet was bat.
Teacher-Oh. Ummm. Well, we pronounce that word O-shin. And you can say it that way anytime you want. Now get back to work sweet boy.

Wanna know what the teacher was thinking?

Oh shin! I just taught a five year old how to say Oh s#*t!

Just sayin'.......................................

1 comment:

  1. Well, you are an educator. ;-) You taught him well.