Yes, let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be.
Although I'd rather not.
Because talking about sex, lesbianism and rape with eight year old children just seems wrong. I mean, make your own parenting decisions, but to me, not something I ever thought I would be talking about in school when I signed up as an early elementary school teacher. They (and I'm not sure who I mean by they except for someone more powerful and all-knowing than myself) should warn you at the door as you try to skip inside with bags full of stickers and rainbow dreams.
As I have said before, it is NOT all flowers and sausages people.
At this point, you may be thinking, "What the F is she talking about? Sex? Lesbianism? Sausages?
But you're intrigued, right? Don't act like you're not.
I am talking about the latest dilemma in my life as a teacher. Recently, there has been a lot of dirty talk on the playground. I am a firm believer of " a time and place for everything" (am I right, ladies??) but I do not think that recess is the time, nor do I believe that the playground is the place to be discussing things of this nature. Why, oh why aren't they talking about crayons, freeze tag and Popsicles? Because I'm pretty sure that that was my repertoire of conversation as a child.
Here are some examples of the recent "dirty talk":
"Your mom has sex on you."
"You want to have sex on your uncle."
"All lesbians have sex in bathrooms."
"He is going to rape on you."
And the ever popular "Your pussy smells."
Whoever came up with the phrase "from the lips of children" never hung out on the playground at recess evidently. Or possibly was referring to another group of children.
I just don't get it. They are so sweet. I really and truly love this class. And not phony Little Miss Sunshine I Have To Love My Class Because That Is What Teachers Are Supposed To Say crap...I mean, I will honestly be sad on the last day of school. For the first time in a long time, I will not run skipping down the hall, cheering and hugging everyone in sight after the last child has left (hate to burst your bubble, but that's REALLY what teachers do on the last day of school). Over the summer, while sipping on a cool fruity beverage complete with a small umbrella, I will smile when I recall the funny things they said and the fun we had together.
And then I'll remember the dirty talk.
When I was their age (I walked up hill both ways...) the boys were infested with cooties, NOBODY could shake their booty in time with the music and we NEVER discussed a foul bodily odor other than the occasional fart. So, I guess farting was the most risque topic we covered. Farting and perhaps, just perhaps, we would try out a curse word or two. But we certainly did not discuss lesbianism, nor do I think I had ever even heard of rape. The whole notion of french kissing was still up for debate.
In sum, we were not this knowledgeable.
(By the way, I NEVER thought I would talk like this...seriously, I sound like my mom when she regales me with tales of her childhood. I totally promised myself that I would refrain from starting sentences with phrases such as "When I was little...." or "In my day..." I have sadly let myself down and have fallen down that slippery slope. All of which probably means that I am (sigh) old.)
(I also never thought that I would be preparing a lesson on "dirty talk" for my early elementary class. Or would be forced to pee in a bathroom infested with mice, but that's another story.)
It's too late now though. It's out there and no one can take it back. It's not like when they accidentally call me "mom" and then blush furiously as we both pretend it didn't happen. Or when they let a fart fly on the carpet in the middle of a read aloud and we all try our darndest to ignore it. ( I just realized that I have brought up farting at least three times in this post...what does THAT mean?)
No, it's out there and I have to deal with it. I can't have them using these words and thinking it's OK to use them in these ways. And, clearly they are exposed to these ideas somewhere and I can't let them be filled with all this misinformation, right? So I have teamed up with one of my colleagues and we are going to do a whole little talk on Words They Hear On The Playground That Make Them Uncomfortable and discuss the proper time to think and talk about those things. We are also going to write a letter home to parents explaining the entire situation and reassuring them that this Little Talk will not turn into Sex Ed.
This last minute, reactionary change in schedule is going to replace my previously planned lesson on place value.
Granted, sex talk is probably more interesting than debating how to use tens and ones, but somehow, I'm not looking forward to it.
So for any of you out there who STILL think this job is a cake walk, who STILL believe that all I do is finger paint and lead sing-a-longs, and who STILL insist that small children are just adorable - put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Although, I secretly wish that we COULD just sing-a-song and finger paint it away.