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Friday, April 19, 2013

Why Are You Wearing Pajamas To School?

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Meeting my school friends for lunch  encourages work stories to resurface. Like war buddies we share common experiences. Hard times become fond memories now. Here are a few. After 27 years, teaching you meet interesting families. The young children are influenced by the quirks and whims of their parents. Sadly I have had children asleep in class because they spent the night in the emergency room with their battered mothers. Some children hit and kick the dolls in the play area, because that is what they watch at home.


There were also happy families and delightfully funny children. Jon was one of them. He had 7 brothers and sisters. His mother was a professional singer and on weekends she sang at clubs and engagements. Dad became the sitter when she was away. We were a uniform school but occasionally the children wore their regular clothes. One day Jon came to school wearing his train pajamas and slippers. Daddy is taking care of us today, he happily offered when I looked surprised at his attire.


Open school night brought Jon's lovely mommy.  Her hair , make-up and clothes made her look like a fashion model. After we discussed how well Jon was doing in class, I asked her how her show had gone? She was surprised I knew she had been away. Jonathan came to school wearing P.J.'s and slippers, he brought cake for lunch. She laughed and said, " his father was the babysitter".


Mercedes was the third child of a family I knew well. I had taught the children and their cousins. She was the baby and determined not to attend kindergarten. Regardless of who brought her to school she screamed and cried and threw herself against the classroom door. Eventually she would be exhausted and sleep at her desk.  It was a terrible. I was ready to agree that she was not ready for kindergarten, and kindergarten was not ready for her. Grandma came to visit me. She told me that Mercedes had done this for two years in nursery school and it was time for her to attend kindergarten. Please teacher, please help her!


As soon as Mercedes understood this act was not going to work, she
adapted, and loved school. Kids are always interesting, so are their families. Life in kindergarten was an education for all. Remembering is a
wonderful thing.


       

1 comment:

  1. I like your kindergarten stories more than my JHS/MS stories. We had families too. Some had one successful child after another, some had musicians, some had the actors, some had the druggies, and some had the hard-core criminal types. Most had kids who were very different from another.

    It was scary that most children that young were set in their ways by the time they were 12,...until something shocking happened to change them later. Occasionally, a sweet kid I adored at 12 changed by 17 or 18 into a selfish, cheating, and lying manipulator, shocking me when I heard. Sometimes I would hear from one of the troubled or walking-wounded children to discover that they met the right someone or finally received the support that they always needed and changed into a thoughtful adult. I cried over the lost ones and over the saved ones. I took my job very personally and felt that their failures were my own. The "A+'s" I knew were in spite of me and that I could basically brag that I didn't get in the way, ...unless I knew for a fact that those "A+'s" were their first ones and that I really did have a positive effect.

    When our kids came in their pajamas, it was supposed to be a fashion statement. To me, it showed a lack of formality in school that signaled a careless attitude about their work as well. When the basketball team had a game, the coach required the boys to wear suits and ties to school that day. Those boys were better behaved and prepared than on other days....Of course, it was fear of being benched, not the clothes per se. But I always complimented them on how fabulous they looked. Most of the boys liked this fuss because I got the girls to agree that they like a "well dressed man."
    B.

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