Thursday, May 11, 2006

Not So Hot For Teacher

OK, it took me years to figure this out, but I now realize that some of my grade school teachers – nuns included – were commies.

I don’t know if they were card-carrying, but I can’t find any other explanation for the phrase, “I hope you brought enough (fill in the blank here) to share with everyone in the class.”

This is what teachers would say if they caught a kid eating candy or chewing gum during class.

What future practice in society is this preparing children for? What aspect of their adult life does this replicate? I mean, when you sit at your cubicle at work eating a granola bar or package of crisps your boss doesn’t make you stop eating unless you brought enough for everyone!

We live in a capitalistic society, for Chrissakes. As much as I love the idea of, “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs,” I don’t think communistic ideals in general applied to candy.

Smart as they may otherwise be, grammar and secondary school teachers sure say some stupid shit.

Like their rationale for forbidding gum in classrooms. I have to agree that kids sticking gum to the bottom of their desks or anything else should be forced to clean it up. That’s littering, and it’s nasty, too.

But I also remember another reason for the ban – that some teachers didn’t like to look at the class and see kids “chewing their cuds like a cow.” Fittingly, that’s just bullshit.

You’ve got some kind of mental disorder if that bothers you. Popping bubbles is obnoxious, yes, and should be forbidden, but the visual of chewing? Don’t be such a wuss, Teach!

During my school years this “chewing” rationale was incontestably discredited during myriad fundraising drives, where kids were allowed to sell and consume all manner of sweetmeats in class.

The candy sales also forever plugged a hole in the rationale that kids weren’t permitted to eat food in class because it would “attract bugs.” Nothing like some creamy nougat on the floor to attract ants, eh?

Oh yeah, and there’s nothing like a little hypocrisy to forever alter your view of authority figures, either.


Bird said...

Oh heavens to besty bogs!

I have pulled my hair back into an exceedingly tight bun - so tight that the roots of my hair are pulling at my scalp, and I am wearing my reading glasses down on the very tip of my nose. I am now the tight-assed, stiff, uptight, bitch-of-an-English teacher.

Elementary school is about socialization. C'mon - you knew that. Hence all the "polite" society rules.

I deplore gum in the classroom. Some students can't speak clearly with gum in their mouth. and at least at the college level, we're trying to create, in some manner, a professional environment. chew gum all you want when you're studying on your own - but don't chew in my class.

candy should be banned from school period. who needs the sugar high - ever try to teach a roomful of students either hyped up on sugar, or crashing from sugar? it ain't pretty.

in K-12, food can be a big distraction. students fuss with food wrappers and napkins etc. instead of paying attention in class. oh heck, food can be a distraction in a college class too - especially with freshman - they are still awfully close to high school type behaviors.

i allow food and drink in my classoom if it doesn't disrupt my teaching and if students pick up after themselves. but i don't like it as a regular thing - it is disruptive (besides, if you're using your small desk top to put your snack on, where the heck is your notebook and pencil????)

i chose to teach college because i didn't want to deal with the bullshit disciplinarian problems one has to deal with in K-12.

Pete Bogs said...

I knew you'd chime in... how do we explain the sharing thing? I mean, sharing is noble, but forced sharing is not... that's fallacious logic those teachers are using... get your own goddamn snacks!

the noise part I can understand... I think they just take these rules too far...

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

rrrrrrright on. forced sharing starts kids on the "that's not fair" path. hey you've got something and i don't!!

my favorite forced sharing moment is mr hand in fast times at ridgemont high forcing the share of spicolli's pizza


gum is uncivilized. if youve ever tried to dig it out of a dog paw all stuck to the fur in between the pads and all, well you know what i mean.

but i guess not in singapore where they keep the sidewalks gum free with the fear of the cane!!!!


Bird said...

yeah that's the ticket - we need to practice caning in American schools - that'll teach those little you-know-whats. Hah! :P

i'm getting a little buggy as the semester end.

The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

I hit elementary school shortly before they ruled corporal punishment as illegal. We used to love to pluck a hair from our head, place it on our palm, and then threaten a lawsuit when it cut us. Used to freak the principal out.

Ah, good times...

Pete Bogs said...

I think gum is like anything else - in the wrong hands (or mouth) it can be a nuisance, but it's basically innocuous...

I had the chance to be paddled or suspended from school... all the other kids involved took a paddling because they were afraid of getting suspended, you see... I took a few days off...

CROAK said...

Why is it that Americans and gum are forever seen together? Why is gum so important in the mouths of Americans. Why cannot an American be an American without gum being displayed rolling around in their cheeks? What does it really represent to the rest of the world?
It often appears to be contemtuous and arrogant. Is that the point?
To the rest of the world it is ugly and childlike.
Get over chewing gum and we may take you more seriously.

Pete Bogs said...

croak - sometimes it's done to refresh our breath... sometimes it's done to keep the pressure from building up in our heads while on a plane... whatever the case, it's not an American phenomenon, and there are some good reasons for it...