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25 November 2008

A cautionary tale...


Let this be a lesson to all who would make assumptions... about boys. And girls. And pink Hanna Montana pencils...

Today I subbed for a first grade teacher. It was me and the special ed teacher in the room. For a large portion of today there was a "discussion" between a boy and a girl about a pink Hanna Montana pencil. The girl insisted that the boy took it from her - that it was hers. He made no bones about the fact that he doesn't like her - "she is not my friend"... horrifying first-grade things like that...

Off and on throughout the day was the issue of this pencil. Boy says it is his. Girl says it is hers. Finally I take the pencil. In the back of my brain I think... "I will leave it for the teacher to talk with them tomorrow." And then I thought "what am I thinking?? I can't leave a busy teacher a note about a pink Hanna Montana Pencil! This is nonsense." So when the boy left I gave it to the girl. Told her to take it home and leave it at home.

A few minutes after the girl left (her bus was called) the boy returned to the room. With his sister. She said she gave the pencil to the boy. The other teacher thanked her and said that it had helped the boy get his work finished that day.

OMG. I felt absolutely HORRIBLE! How could I fix this?!? I totally owe this boy an apology. I told the teacher what had happened. She wasn't angry - she told me that the girl has done this before and that I had no way of knowing. I even told her that I had planned to leave it for the teacher with a note and then thought the better of that idea... she laughed.

I believed the girl not because I liked her more or think any less of the boy... I believed the girl because it was a pink Hanna Montana pencil. And maybe because I heard him being so wretched to her (knowing what I know now I see that he had a reason).

I screwed up. BIG. What is the message this boy received from all of this?? He is not trustworthy? Girls will be believed more than boys?

UGH!!!!! I fell for the oldest stereotype in the book and I am woefully embarrassed by it.

9 comments:

GMOM said...

Think about Glenn and High School Musical (and all the other musicals he loves :-) Don't worry it was an honest assumption that I probably would have made too!

Daisy said...

I know! How many times have I complained about the lack of Dora toys for boys? Marveled at William enjoying What Not To Wear and Say Yes to the Dress... it totally isn't that I think there is anything wrong with a boy with a pink pencil - Hanna Montana no less - it just felt so - I don't know - improbable.

UGHHHHHHH!

Sandi said...

It's always so difficult to determine which child is truthful in a conflict like this. Even when it's your own kids! It won't be a life-changing event for the little boy, don't beat yourself up.

Frog said...

That was a tough call.... but like Sandi said, the boy in question has forgotten all about it..... unless he has a secret crush on Smiley Cyrus :D

Pink is such a girls color anyway - you were probably helping him out ;)

LarryLilly said...

Hey, I wear pink dress shirts, and I am definitely not that kind of guy!

so now you are feeling sexist, for believing the girl, when it was in your mind that if its pink, its got to be hers. Now that girl "owns" you. So next time, tell her in private, and that your on to her.

LOL

Marvin the Martian said...

Yes, because of YOU, he will grow up to be an Angry White Male, afraid to have a relationship with a woman because she will sue him for God-knows-what, and he will die a miserable, lonely death.

No, seriously, I doubt this will matter at all. After you apologize to him. ;-) And now you know, never trust that girl again. Perhaps have a chat with her about not being such a lying little snot.

Saphira said...

I understand you feel bad but I can completely understand why you thought the way you did. I probably would have done the same thing. Just remember, by this time next year neither one of them will remember it happened!

Anonymous said...

Real men wear pink shirts!!!...and all that jazz!!

Helen, all I can say is that teaching can be a very humbling experience and that you will be given the opportunity to demonstrate how you have grown from that experience!
Remember - it is always about "did I learn from that???" If so, then it is not a mistake, it is a Learning Experience -I have had many of them in 39 years!!! that's how I got to be so Smart!! Ha! Ha!
LYG MOM

Anonymous said...

Real men wear pink shirts!!!...and all that jazz!!

Helen, all I can say is that teaching can be a very humbling experience and that you will be given the opportunity to demonstrate how you have grown from that experience!
Remember - it is always about "did I learn from that???" If so, then it is not a mistake, it is a Learning Experience -I have had many of them in 39 years!!! that's how I got to be so Smart!! Ha! Ha!
LYG MOM