The Teacher Parade
Yup, our elementary school put on a Teacher Parade for the students! On Good Morning America (It’s aight content but I loooooove the reporters, George S., Robin R. Michael S., T.J. #s/o!) we saw some teachers in some district, somewhere in the good ‘ol USA drove their personnel vehicles through the various neighborhoods and communities they service. It was cute. I give full #SALUTE to teachers contacting families during this pandemic aka soft quarantine, letters, driveway chalk drawings, parades. ANYWAY, yesterday was tough on me with MS hug and exhaustion. Today ran much smoother but the worst symptom was exhaustion, again. I had a plan for that (*checks BOTH directions* we discussed this in yesterday’s post, remember?). I cannibi-cated and prepared for the arrival of our Teacher’s Parade. It turned out better than I thought. There were at least 20 cars! Some painted messages on windows. Others wore costumes. A few had teachers, hyper as HECK, standing in the sunroof, hanging out windows and one had the school mascot prominently waving from the roof! My 1st grader and several neighborhood waved, jumped and screamed from their respective driveways and had a ball with it. Just as quickly as it arrived, it was gone. No kids tagged or teamed up. Maybe one set of adults actually physically interacted closer than 10feet. Sis, I’m in the country and I was shocked to see folks obeying the social distance. 🤷🏾♂️ Normally, Daddy’s Academy of Gratitude MUTHAFUGGA has academic activities, 9a – 11a, and 12p – 2p. The Teacher’s Parade threw us off by 2 hours so we started with 11am lunch then academics. Why those minute details you ask? Exhaustion was heavy than a MUG and I appreciated the slow start. 😁 Hey, da lil handicapped homie is a former Teacher of the Year and works well with remixes and adjustments. By the time we got to academics, I was feeling better than better. I felt motivated to address a problem that was crippling my student population (dem kids! 😋).
The Problem is excessive sarcasm
What is the problem? SARCASM. 😑 Yooooo, I don’t know about y’all’s ch’ren (like my grandma used to say 😅) BUT mine… Ooooooooooo WEE. It is relentless, non stop, aggressive, accusatory, ugly, threatening and most of all, getting on my LAST fucking nerve Dawg. I mean, they aren’t cursing, using the N-word or fighting but all the arguing, yelling, blaming, demanding is killing my educational vibe and entrepreneurial with-it-ness. What I’m trying to say is their communication sucks. Good thing they’re homeschooled and I can slide that into the curriculum, ‘talk like you got some damn respect for others’. I’m not trying to be funny either. Starting TODAY, I’m doing stuff to improve their communication skills and awareness.
We have 2.5 laptops. The half is my blogging/writing/work laptop that nobody can use without my permission and must be chromecast to ensure appropriate activities are performed. 😒 Instead of them working separately on laptops, rotation style and talking greasy to each other, intentionally singing and rapping out loud, fussing about wack shit like, “Who took my extra paper?”, I grouped them up.
My 5th grader worked alone the entirety of the day. She couldn’t fuss about needing anything. She couldn’t argue about who was copying her (COPYING?! 🙄). She couldn’t get distracted by whispers. If she needed anything, speak up, ask without dropping her head and mumbling. It worked. She finished her assignments in record time and all day, I didn’t have to do much except check her understanding of instructions. She couldn’t complain about who-left-what-mess either because it was just her at the table. For the past 3 days, she was stuck an extra hour completing work because she was so easily distracted by her siblings’ antics. Not this Friday Eve! #Success
Evidenced by the picture below, these two are the proverbial class clown (boy) & teacher’s pet (girl). On a daily basis, if my son has little assigned schoolwork, he is off-task and does his best to drag others down with him. I give him alternative assignments and he complaining loudly, “We don’t do that yet”. My 1st grader? She is advanced/GT in every subject so she blows through simple stuff and will immediately lean on me for more work, harder work, DIY projects. 😞 She requires soooooo much attention that it is draining AF. I figured, “I’ll put them together. He’ll teach her some higher level math concepts. WHEN he gets off task, she’ll bring him back or play a bit too because she needs attention.” In theory, perfect plan that complimented their weaknesses and emphasized their strengths. It damn sho did NOT work. They played around and goofed off the first 20-30min. I was cool beans and patient because they (dem kids) know; if work ain’t done by 4pm, you stay at the kitchen table until it is. Everyone has stayed too so whatever to their light horseplay, they’ll stay past 4pm. It hit the fan as that clock ticked and HE realized time was running out. Ohhhhhhhh THEN the yelling and stuff started. I was ready for it, the two of them, everything. Everytime, someone yelled in anger/frustration, they lost screentime/videogames.
The threat of losing screentime/videogames definitely calmed their communication. They whispered and used “inside voices”. They still argued and “huffed” but it was quieter. As for the learning goal, it was a failure. He probably confused her and I’ll retrain her tomorrow but speaking respectfully was the TRUE behavior goal. It took them so long to get it that AFTER Academy, I insisted they could only play on laptops side-by-side. My thinking was to keep them close and force them to communicate better. When my 5th grader joined, saaaaaaame rules applied to her as well. Folks, that was the quietest they had been all week! I gotta build on this tomorrow and keep momentum!
In retrospect, I had forgotten how important behavior goals, improving communication and just teaching my kids to be my kids was to Daddy’s Academy of Gratitude MUTHAFUGGA. I focus too much energy on referring arguments, ensuring kids on task and maintaining the peace. Friday, I’m on this at the beginning of the day, throughout the day and the next day and the next day and… #HoldItDown
Link to Day 6