Friday, April 07, 2006

I managed to stay on green today.

"I managed to stay on green today. " Standing Long Jump (SLJ) stated with great relief. Second grade behavior is governed by stop lights. Good behavior-green, disruptive-yellow (warning, slow down), constant disruption-red and congratulations you've earned a trip to the principal's office. Now jump into my mind which cruises at hypersonic jet speed when it comes to school and behavior. I live in this precarious balance between knowing that boys are boys and need to be able to be boys, versus zero tolerance for making a teacher's responsibility greater because you don't want to exercise self control and want to disrupt the class. As I learned at our recent conferences, this is the kid who spontaneously and regularly breaks into an arbitrary range of noises during class. He sings, hums, buzzes, etc. primarily when he has completed his work and is waiting to move on to the next assignment. I can see where it drives his teacher nuts, but I had to laugh in spite of myself-I do the same thing-the singing and humming part. I always have a song in my head, and I love to torment my kids with knowing obscure lines from songs that mimic anything they say. But I digress, back to warp speed evaluation of "I managed to not get in trouble today"

What does that mean, you managed to stay on green?
As opposed to every other day?
Are you getting in trouble?
Did I miss a call from a teacher?
Talk to me boy!

Good thing SLJ does not live inside my head and was able to nochalantly inform me

"I managed to stay on green even with a substitute teacher. I've never managed that before." If I have zero tolerance for misbehavior, the substitute teacher in question has 32 degrees below zero tolerance for misbehavior. This sub governs with a yellow fist, particularly when it comes to boys. I think they breathe a sigh of relief when the day ends with their proverbial backsides in tact. Because, while the school doesn't employ corporal punishment, it is not a pleasant experience to visit the principal, red card in hand. He stayed on green with the sub nazi-that's my boy.

SLJ turns 8 on Sunday and of course I wonder where my little boy went, but I love the young man that he is becoming. We are looking for a bike for him-an upgrade from the single speed discount store model. I'm inclined to think he is old enough to take care of a "real" bike, so we are looking into the Trek multi gear models. My only caution is that bikes tend to ride off in our neighborhood and SLJ tends to be a little absent minded and will leave his bike in the driveway regularly. It's a tough call when deciding what degree of risk you want to expose your kid to versus what level of responsibility and privilege you want him to have. If we upgrade to a little larger, but cheap bike, a moment of forgetfulness costs a lot less and the bike could be replaced. On the other hand, the Trek bike would just be a far better bike to suit the purposes of family outings and to let him know we trust him with more expensive things. And his equally absent minded sister has taken very good care of her "upgrade" bike. So, we'll see.

Have a great weekend-it's going to be warm and sunny here-all training will be outdoors-glad there's no swimming in the mix.


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7 comments:

Fe-lady said...

Your "little" guy is a cutie...I really don't like the "stop light" way of managing a classroom...but then I don't have a whole room of kids anymore. My caseload, however, is 98% male, and have great relationships with these kids (for the most part)-I too am pretty "hyper" and was probably ADD as a kid..my teachers always said that I .."would be a good student, if I only slowed down a little!" PAH! What fun is that? :-) Congrats to your son...he should get ice cream or something tonight!

Habeela said...

Humming and general absent-minded verbal "noodling" as my family calls it. I love it! He must be very creative!

Flatman said...

Good boy...get him the Trek!

Keryn said...

My son has already gotten a few little notes from the teacher. Picture this:

The preschool teacher asks the class to "Be quiet and listen up."

My son says, "Everyone, yell and scream!"


Yeah...I am looking forward to elementary school...

Kewl Nitrox said...

I am reminded of a "problem" we have in Singapore. The parents are so obssessed with getting their children that they actually engage tutors to teach the kids the syllabus even before it is taught in school. So what happens in class. half the kids are bored because they have already learnt the lesson at home. So what do bored kids do? They run around and disrupt the class so that the other half who has yet to learn the lesson have a hard time doing so.

Go figure!

Kewl Nitrox said...

oops... I meant that the parents are so obsessed with getting their children TO THE TOP OF THE CLASS. Can't type coz I am getting too eager to get out and ride! :)

Chris said...

Hope SLJ had a great birthday!