Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby, Let's Talk About You And Me...

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.


Em said...

Mimi, hope the "dirty talk" talk went well. It's amazing what things these kids are exposed to these days. I am very grateful that I have not had anything quite like that to deal with this

You'll get to place value eventually...tomorrow, maybe, if things go well...

Anonymous said...

We had some kids paint the F word on the wall of the school but they spelled it wrong. (8th graders) I gave them a lecture on vandalism, correct usage of words that they had not looked up in the dictionary, and why language like that was not appropriate in school. I thought they were going to die of embarassment. They could not believe I made them look the word up and find out the correct usage. Then I made them scrub the words off the wall. I didn't have any problems with bad language the rest of that year.
Mystery Teacher

Sarah said...

Isn't it amazing what kids know these days?! I took up a note while watching another teacher's class where one child asked another if she was going to let a boy from school put his d!ck in her. I was shocked. This was 3rd grade. They are 8 and 9! They had also used the p word yours are using. Someone needs to turn off the tv.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel. I didn't know that when I started taching high school I was going to be a sex, drug and abuse therapist too. My fisrt question as a teacher, I kid you not, was "does it get stuck durring anal sex". The kid really wanted to know and asked very politley with the correct terms and everything. Mind you, I was teaching Parenting and the STD unit so at least it was a little on topic. Just try to think of it this way, you are making them better people by giving them the information others are afraid to cover. You are doing a good job.

17 (really 15) more years said...

Holy moley- and I thought it was bad when my 8th graders say "orgasm" instead of "organism".

How depressing that the childhoods have been stolen away from these kids.

Anonymous said...

One of my third graders explained to me (correctly) what a blow job was. I had asked her what she thought Fifty Cent's Song "The Candy Shop" was about.

Mimi said...

I'll let you know how the talk's on Wednesday. Yikes is all I have to say about that right now.

The Mrs. said...

It is frightening what kids these days know and talk about. My students say things that even now as an adult make me squirm! I see it everyday, and my own daughter will be starting school in a little over a year. I'm frankly scared to death about what she'll be exposed to on the playground.

Anonymous said...

"they should warn you at the door as you try to skip inside with bags full of stickers and rainbow dreams." That is hilarious and poetic and SO true all at the same time. I love your blog! Thank you for sharing!

Mary Louise Brooks said...

Mimi, I finished reading all of your past entries. LOVE you and your blog! Now that I'm caught up, hope you don't mind the comments. Last year I had a 4th grader (10 years old) who constantly oogled me! And people wonder why I wear turtlenecks! I went to his past teachers and asked, "Who's this?" while giving them the once over. Each past teacher guessed correctly! Can you imagine? I had to change my entire wardrobe because of him. I'm glad I have bored students this year. I was missing my skirts and heels! LOL! Yes, I wear heels everyday.

~ L said...

I have a TON of channels on parental block at our house.

It seems that many parents don't bother to do this, or worse, they just let the kids watch TV unsupervised.

When I was a kid I thought it was a BIG deal when I fibbed about my age to see my first R rated movie

I was 17!

newlyamrs said...

thank you! i'm not the only one who loves her job yet gripes about the adults involved! i think you and i would be good friends with very similar opinions! thanks for your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Mimi, I have really been enjoying reading your blog, and missed you while you were gone. As to the inappopriate sex talk -- I'm not having it with my preschool class (thank goodness), but with my 7 year old son. He has a radio in his room and was listening to rap until we wised up. We made him switch to a top forty station, but then last night at dinner could not believe the lyrics to the song he started singing. Today he got in trouble at school for using this kind of talk on the playground! We are going to have to talk about this some more....And no radio for three days, and when he gets the radio back, he is going to be limited to the tame pop music station. It is sad. I feel terrible that my son knows this stuff, and I know I was more innocent at his age.

Unknown said...

By far- the best post I have ever read! I can't believe the things you have to deal with! I'm a K teacher at a private school and my students think 'stupid' is the s word, and 'hate' is another so-bad-of-a-word
Good luck today and thank you so much for writing!

Cathy said...

stick it in your pipe and smoke it...indeed!

hope the talk went well...not sure how you were going to cover all those wonderful topics but i'm sure you did a great job!

Anonymous said...

I don't have children yet, but when I do, I will hope that they have a teacher who cares enough to take them aside and correct them when they are crossing the line (...and then I hope that teacher calls me at work so I can wash their little mouths out with soap when I get home.)

Thanks for taking the time to be so attentive. And go to the bathroom. You deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am sooo glad to read I am not the only one having to have 'The Talk' with 7 and 8 year olds! Recess for my class ended up being silent! Can you imagine that? One of the kids had to stay within 10 feet of me, so that he couldn't threaten to rape any of the girls anymore.

My group also figured out how to break through the firewalls to look at sex in school-their favorite was the one with a dog!

Boy did I get an education this year! And I had parents who had the nerve to yell at me (in front of the class mind you) that I didn't serve the chocolate Ho Ho's they had sent in for snack!

I didn't even wait for the dismissal bell on the last day, I just started sending them out!
I have never packed up and gotten out of school so fast in my life!

Anonymous said...


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