Tuesday, February 2, 2010

4th grade-A Defining Year

Geneva has preschool every Tuesday and Thursday.  I've chosen to use that time to help out in Todd and Shem's classroom.  On Tuesday, I head to Shem's class.  Sweet, innocent, 2nd graders.  On Thursday, I go to Todd's class; loud, boy/girl crazy, FUN 4th graders.  Todd tells me he's the only one in ALL of 4th grade who does not have a Valentine.  Then he does his chuckle (a cocky sorda noise) and says, "But that's because I haven't asked anyone."  This is the 1st year the having a Valentine actually meant something.  This is the year you actually have to preread the Valentines you send out, because you don't want just ANY kid in the class thinking you want to be their Valentine.  I remember 4th grade so vividly.  There was one boy in my class, my cousin actually, who "had fleas."  I cringe just thinking back on it.  I usually was pretty good and not joining in on the chatter, but I remember one day he was walking into the classroom, and I hid behind the door with two others girls so we wouldn't get fleas.   To this day, I haven't forgiven myself for doing this.  Now, Todd's class is repeating my cycle and I will NOT let myself repeat the cycle.  There's one boy that seems to get the brundt of all the teasings.  Mind you, he DOES do gross things.  In fact, I laugh before I've had a chance to even say it, last week I was sitting on the lunch table with this boy and was trying to get my own son to join me...he wouldn't.  THE SHAME!!!!  He said, "Mom, I've seen for myself what he does in the bathroom."  Now, you're all probably thinking what I was thinking.  He whispered to me, just make sure you wash your hands when you leave.  Turns out, this boy had been splashing toilet water at other kids.  Yes, gross.  But there is a reason he does this.  I told Todd he just wants attention and the only time he seems to get it is when he does these gross things.  I told him, give him attention when he's doing good stuff so he doesn't have to resort to the toilet...or licking other kids...or well, you get it.  Todd discovered that this boy doesn't do gross things to you when you're his his friend, so he and his best friend asked him if they could be his friend.  Why do I tell this story?  I'm seeing how difficult it is to be a 4th grader.  This is when popularity starts becoming important (anybody else have cheerleader tryouts in 4th grade so we could cheer for the boys playing football at recess?).  This is when identities are forming.  This is when we start turning into little grown-ups.  I hope my little grown-up turns into a good grown-up; one who cares about others...one who feels like making fun of others is a waste of his time...one who would never make someone cry on purpose...Am I that kind of person?  Oh, I sure hope so.


  1. I was one of those kids who the teacher put with the kids who had less friends. I hope I was a friend to them. I hope that I still am a friend to others.

    I understand the dilema. I wish my fourth grader(and my other kids also) would quit growing up so fast!

  2. It sounds like he is on the right path already by asking the boy to be his friend; he must have great examples in his parents!

    I've decided that it is really good for me to go and help in the classroom. I learn a lot about kids these days and it does give me some empathy for my own kids and their struggles. Because I don't know about you, but elementary was a long time ago for me and I have trouble remembering some things. It's nice for a refresher course!

  3. You are, and were a kind and caring person. I worry the same way for my 4th grader. They have a tough battle ahead. . .

  4. Lyndee,
    You are and were one of the nicest people in our class. Its hard remembering thoes days gone by and not regretting a few of them. Its hard to see our kids go through life knowing that some of our knowledge we can pass along and some things they have to learn all alone. Your kids are so lucky to have you as their mom:) Sounds like you are doing a great job!!! And.....I'am loving your blog. You put a smile on my face!

  5. Aaahh-shucks! You are guys are the best! I'm learning with Todd. I'm afraid I'll push too hard for him to be hice to some of these kids and it will end with bad results, so I will try to be more subtle with him. But seriously, how can any person stand to see another person sitting at a lunch table all by himself? I told Todd that he could always invite the kid to sit at his table but Todd said, "It's hard cause I still want people to like me." Don't worry--I'm pretty sure I might have done the deep sigh and said something like, "Okay, do whatever you want." You know, something really effective like that.


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