Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Covert Wackiness

Evan is happily at school in his green shirt for Green Eggs and Ham day. He will also be enjoying green eggs and ham for breakfast at school this morning.
Issa's Dr. Seuss week took a wicked turn, though. Apparently, sunglasses were a bit too distracting for her class. We got a note yesterday that Wacky Tacky Day was cancelled, and that students who had been the worst offenders were receiving a more specific note. We did not get such a note--thank goodness. A very teary Issa explained that she was messing with her glasses the first time her teacher gave the class a strike, but that she really hadn't the rest of the day, and it just wasn't fair. Issa was furious with specific students who earned the last strike--and she could name every one.
Here's the problem. This is the first time I've really not liked a call her teacher made. I preach against this "punish the class" model in every one of my classes. It backfires. The students who were following the rules recognize the inequity and they end up just resenting their classmates. Case in point: my living room yesterday.
I hate it when my philosophy collides with my child's teacher. It puts me in a bad spot. So, I made a call of my own. We had to follow the teacher's rules, but we could go covert:
 Issa grabbed a pair of her white socks and white panties, a bag of sharpies, and she went to town:
Covert wackiness.

We talked about how I was glad that she was honest with me about her early bad decisions, and that I understood how unfair this felt. So...this was a compromise. I also stated that if she told anyone about the covert operation her Dr. Seuss week was over. It let us have a great conversation about leading by example. I told her that I expected her to be an example all day today, and that if Silly Sock Day got cancelled, I would be emailing her teacher to ensure that Issa had been on her very, very best behavior today.

It seems to have stuck. We've had a few attitude issues lately accompanied by some listening ears that were on the fritz. I saw a real difference last night and this morning. Here's hoping it was a lasting teachable moment.

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