Friday, April 17, 2009

A Crystal Ball

Having taught fifth and fourth grades for years and now teaching first grade, I look at these kids and wonder what they will be when they reach the end of their elementary years. I have many predictions and some concerns.

One little girl in particular concerns and fascinates me. Even in kindergarten she was 'too cool for school.' She has problems with friendships because she can be bossy and mean. At other times she can be kind and helpful. She is bright, excited about learning, and, in many ways, a joy to have in class.

I have to wonder, though, if she will be a 'mean girl' when she is a bit older. She seems to show the signs for it. And, if so, what could I be doing now to keep that from happening?

Is it possible for us to control that in a child? Is that outcome set already? I don't like the idea that I can't 'fix' this and make sure that my students grow up to be kind, generous people. At the same time, I find it overwhelming to think I might have control over such things.


Anonymous said...

Someone did a study. This "mean girl" thing starts as young as three. i spent 25 years working in preschool settings and I could have told them that and saved them a lot of money. I love feisty and "out there" little girls but wish we could find some way to teach the mean ones some empathy.

Sriram said...

At times I just think, if some characteristics shown in early-childhood fades away when they get older and mature... Wish this is one such thing :)

Angela Watson said...

If any of my high school teachers were asked this question about me, I can ASSURE you they would've had me pegged as pregnant at 17 and a drop out. Seriously. Not one of them would believe that I'd one day be a teacher and an author. I remind myself of that everyday I think there's no hope for a kid.

In fact, I get discouraged when I think about what most of my students are going to be like when they're older. I prefer not to go there, and just have faith that they'll grow and mature like I did (eventually). :-)