Thursday, May 17, 2012

CLASS CLOWN






“Stand up Bernadette!” My bottom lip immediately started to tremble. Although to be fair, I was 5, crying wasn’t really a stretch for me.


See, all I had done, technically, was move. But because we had just been warned that “the next person to make a noise will be going to see the Principal” and my movement had rattled my tidybox and in turn, made the next noise, I was in DEEP SHIT.  I’m pretty sure it’s a miracle that I didn’t simultaneously  lose my lunch and release my bowels at that point because you see, I was not that kid. The naughty kid – I wasn’t her. In fact, I was the kid that was desperate to be the teacher’s pet. I was the kid that volunteered to take up the tuckshop order each day, would pack away the paints without being asked, creepily brush the teacher’s hair, that kind of thing. In short, I was a total suck.


Back in the day though, if you were naughty in class, it would be a long time or a pretty decent incident before your parents heard anything about it. Take Lindsay for instance. Lindsay was our class clown. He was the only kid that wore his Smurf shirt every single day, had both a mullet and a bowl cut and at aged 8, had a voice that sounded like he had smoked a packet of cigarettes, daily. And he was constantly in trouble. Constantly. Yet, you can bet, the only time his parents heard about his antics was at the end of the school year when his report card came home with a shitty result and a line that read “If Lindsay put half as much effort into his schoolwork as he did his clowning around in class, he’d be an A student”. Ironically, Lindsay is now a professional clown*


Now though, things are very different.  Now we, the parents,  get emails direct from the teacher, with instant feedback, almost daily. These kids can’t pick their nose without a 100 word email outlining the consistency.  The subject line that strikes fear into me most though only contains one word. And that word is -  JACK.


Every time one of these emails lobs into my inbox, my gut immediately drops –what now? Because as I’ve explained HERE, Jack is not so much the class clown, as the class deviant. He’s been known to trade kisses for ice blocks, reveal his bits to his classmates during art class and to trick others into trading their one gold coin for one of his silver ones.  And I have received an email advising me of the situation each and every time this has happened. So when I recently received the email from his teacher with the subject line JACK – Altercation, I panicked. Jesus, what has he done NOW?  I need not have worried because this time, he was the victim and in some kind of weird way, this made me feel better. The altercation wasn’t Jack’s fault. In fact, he’d copped a matchbox car to the face after things went sour in ‘home corner’.  


It’s not only the primary school teachers that are big on the electronic mail however.  A large quantity of my email correspondence is from the very young, but very dedicated Maths teacher my 12 year old appears to have. Pretty much every second day I’ll receive a group email outlining the failings of her year 7 class. Her determination to have these kids hand in homework and/or have them detained, is to be admired. The fact that the threats of detention and extra homework don’t appear to be working does not deter her. Which is great in a way. I mean, my Mum didn’t even know if I had attended school, let alone if I’d failed to hand in my maths quiz.


But sometimes I wonder if this is a lot of information overload. Do I *really* need to know exactly what went down that day in History? Whether Kumbaya on the Piano was a class favourite? A big part of me guesses it does. The exhausted part of me really doesn’t. At times I wonder if our parents had it a bit better. When they simply thought, after questioning us, that our day consisted of "not much".


*I don’t really know what Lindsay went on to do in life. I’ll be disappointed if he didn’t become some kind of ironic hair model though.

15 comments:

Bali said...

I have Einstein's poster , slapping his tongue

CATE PEARCE said...

The more you know, the more you worry. Ignorance can be bliss.
But then again, forewarned is forearmed...
Oh crap, insert your own cliche here.
I have no idea what is best, but suspect it's a balance, and perhaps the teachers are still learning that too.

Denwise aka Denyse Whelan said...

The invention of email is a sad day ....because far too much unnecessary crapola gets sent to everyone and every which way...so..as far as all that email stuff from school.. I like the olden days better too. Let's leave school at school shall we?
It is a bit too crazy this communication between home & school when in some cases ( not yours my friend) parents are emailing teachers 24/7 about every little detail to do with their precious one.
Jack ok?

KJ said...

I get daily PHOTOS from my 9 year olds teacher. "Today the children played a fun maths game. Here are some pictures!". "here's some pictures of the children during reading time." etc, etc......

I know I should be thrilled and the first couple of times I was, but howsabout a little less photography?. That way I won't have to feel like a bad parent when I delete them without looking???

Mum on the Run said...

I always tell my students that they have the freedom to make mistakes/poor choices/idiots of temselves in the classroom without their parents having to know.
(Within reason.)
I'm hoping they afford me the same courtesy, see?!!
I definitely think over-communication has become an issue!
:-) x

Twitchy said...

I had a meeting at school only this week IMPLORING them to email me, because I can't make head or tail of my boy's responsibilities, and either neither has he, or he is a master of mindfuckery.

You ask to see his work diary, it says 'Ancient Egypt Assignment due May 22' but then he tells you he's 'doing it in class'. But he isn't, really. So I am always in the dark. To be honest, on a hard day it can be nice there, but at some point I'm supposed to be responsible here, right?

Jen said...

I don't get the emails but I get the detention slips. Yesterday's was because my son and a whole bunch of other kids were dancing while sticking up their rude finger. My son only got the detention because he admitted to doing it while the kid that started it didn't own up and didn't get the detention. I told my son I wasn't upset about the detention but that I was proud he was honest.

Nadia said...

Oh what I would do to have my daughters school put even half that amount of effort into communication. You are terribly blessed, even if you don't know it. I am horribly envious.

Lou Lou said...

"my Mum didn’t even know if I had attended school, let alone if I’d failed to hand in my maths quiz" bahahahaha

Anonymous said...

While my poppet is only two, I can relate to feeling better when she is the bitee not the biter!

Maria Tedeschi (Mum's Word) said...

At one stage all I kept hearing about my eldest son was all the stuff he did wrong. I'd like to get a barrage of emails that tell me all the good things my kid did that day.

Love & stuff
Mrs M

diane b said...

All I can say is that I'm glad that I am no longer teaching.

Faybian said...

Marie tedeschi I do feel your pain. For a long time I heard nothing but the things my son had done wrong. It got to the stage where I dreaded answering the phone during the week. At least you'd think I'd be safe on the weekends from the phone calls.
No,no, no. I had a maths teacher ring up one weekend. I ended up asking him why he was ringing on a Saturday.....
So far I haven't had emails for my youngest 2. I assume eventually I will, but if it's this sort of rubbish, they'll be binned pretty quickly.

Faybian said...

Marie tedeschi I do feel your pain. For a long time I heard nothing but the things my son had done wrong. It got to the stage where I dreaded answering the phone during the week. At least you'd think I'd be safe on the weekends from the phone calls.
No,no, no. I had a maths teacher ring up one weekend. I ended up asking him why he was ringing on a Saturday.....
So far I haven't had emails for my youngest 2. I assume eventually I will, but if it's this sort of rubbish, they'll be binned pretty quickly.

Bin said...

Hahaha. I laughed at this post. Sounds much like my 7 year old son. But come to think of my daughter wasn't much better at his age. I was made to sit in a 'little kids chair' whilst heavily pregnant, her teacher on a big chair of course, and listen to her rubbish my daughter. Hmmm some teachers... I would've preffered the email...haha