This post on I’ve Come Undone, reminded me of a memorable classroom ditty.
Want to hear it? Here it goes. (please read that in the same sing song way it sounds in my head, thanks)
I had a kid in my First Grade class, a great kid, who was entertaining a group of classmates with some letters on a scrap of paper during Choice Time. One of the kids, sensing trouble, turned him in. So I called the boy over to see what was looming on the page. He nervously handed me the paper that looked something like this, Don’t be scared, it’s just a replica. I only wish I had held onto to that piece of ephemera but I handed it over to the boy’s dads at pick up.
And for the record I am misspelling fkuc in the text portion of this post not because I am worried about your sensitive eyes or because it’s a “bad word” but because I do not want to see the word turn up on my Search Engine Terms in my Stats. That would be an inappropriate context for this site because then we would be getting into meaning and I’m just talking about spelling.
Still want to hear it? Here it goes again:
So I said to the kid, “Can you read me what you wrote?” He looked at me with totally alarmed eyes and nervously started to read, “Fah, Fah, Fah” and then he shook his head like it was too much for him. So I said, “I see that you’ve written the word fkuc“. And defying the laws of nature, his eyes get EVEN BIGGER. I said, “I also noticed that you spelled it exactly like it’s spelled in the dictionary. Fkuc is not a school word but there are so many other words in the uck family that are great for school. What are some of the uck words that are okay for school?” We brainstormed, luck, stuck, muck etc. And then I told him that, “Since now I know that you are an expert on uck words I expect to see them spelled the dictionary way in your writing workshop stories!” We also added an uck family group to the Word Wall. Fkuc was not on it.
To be truthful I may have thrown the word fkuc in there a few more times. Mostly because I was working at not giving it power, it is just a word. A word that is not appropriate for school but a word that doesn’t scare me and shouldn’t hold mystical powers. And just a tiny bit because, inside, it was cracking me up.
I should point out that I did indeed still have a job the next day. The boy’s parents picked up what I put down in terms of minimizing the reaction.
We apply the same principle in our house. There are generally not bad words but just appropriate and inappropriate times and places to use them. If my kid says, “What the hell?” every now and again in the correct context at home I’m not going to freak.
We talk a lot about ways of being powerful. You are powerful when you are thoughtful, you are powerful when you figure out how to find information you didn’t know before, you are powerful when you share. Sometimes you are powerful with your mind, other times with your body, sometimes with your heart, sometimes with your actions and sometimes with your words. I just asked my oldest to give me an example of a way he is powerful and he said, “When I say Thank You.” I’d much rather the focus be on what he can say and the impact it has on others.
How do you handle this issue in your home and what in the hell should I make for dinner?
***And welcome to my new Delightful Blog friends. I hope you find me delightful, potty mouth and all!***