Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Value of No.


Two little letters but so powerful in the English language. It is my personal opinion that the lack of usage of this word is instrumental in the woes of current society.

For example, I currently have two student teachers. One I'm thrilled about and have waited for. She was my September experience last year and I'm honored to be involved in her final teaching experience before she hits the big world of public education. The other one is a jr. block teacher who quite frankly has no business being in education. While I get there is a whole cadre of education programs out there that makes teachers out of anyone who puts in the time and money, there shouldn't be. There are certain things necessary to being a teacher that just can't be taught. This girl possesses none of them. However, I ended up with her because I refused to use those two little letters when my principal asked if I'd take on a student teacher Winter Term. Oh the pain "NO" would have avoided for both me and my class.

I sit on several committees at work. Do I love them? Nope, but again I didn't exercise my right to say "No". See, I like to make people happy. I don't like to disappoint them. Disappointing people makes me uncomfortable. So rather than do that, I often say "yes" when I mean "no". My fault completely. I chose this martyr role and that is a huge thing I need to work on.

I however think the biggest disservice to the word "NO" is being perpetrated by parents today. I have students that I believe only hear the word "NO" in my classroom. It is unfortunate that I have to say it to them many times a day because they act shocked when it comes out of my mouth and sometimes it escalates slightly due to said shock. I don't like being the bad guy at work. I want to be fun, I want my students to like me. However, that is not my job. My job is to educate them. I'm not there to be a BFF. So why is it that parents think that it is their job to be their kid's BFF? Do parents today not have their own peer group?

Can you imagine meeting someone new for the first time and during the "get to know you" conversation piece something like this comes out.

New person: "Do you have a lot of friends?"

Me: "Why yes, I have many close friends, they are all 8 and 9 years old"

In real life that sounds like a freak flag to me. I'd be reported to the authorities, as well I should.

So let's all step up just a bit and try to say this word together now. Are you ready?

See, that's not so bad.

Now parents, try saying it to your kids sometimes, so I don't have to all the damn time please.

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