Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More Lessons from First Grade

Today was Pajama Day at Son's school, which only made me wish we had Pajama Day at College. What fun! But actually, it was a bit of a disaster. The kids were extra crazy and wild. It didn't help that their regular teacher was out of town for a Feist concert (an extra good reason for a personal day, if you ask me!) and they had a sub. They know her, but still.
As a result, it was me and the sub against the first and second graders. They assaulted us in the following ways:
When asked to write what they learned about seeds from a story, they wrote on their worksheets "No." They had learned nothing.
One student complained about having to practice his letters. "I already know them all," he said. When I explained the purpose was to practice handwriting, he said, "I don't need to practice, I'm perfect." I just looked at him. How does one acquire such panache at such a young age? He also has the mannerisms to go with it, gesturing toward himself, and then out, wildly. Sigh. I told him to do the handwriting practice anyway, and eventually he did.
Another kid cried because, according to the girls in his group, he thinks everyone hates him. That, and crying gets him out of having to do any actual work.
One girl squirmed in her chair and said, "I'm having a bad day." Apparently this is how she tries to get out of everything. In her world, it's always a bad day. No worksheets, no learning.
Luckily there was no math today, only "free choice" which involved a cooking center and various arts and crafts. We had to keep them from lunch to get them to clean up.
Needless to say I was happy to get out of there and go to College, where if the students are having a bad day they just don't show up. My attendance was laughable, but we got to discuss genre, by which I mean blogs, so that was fun.
What have I learned from this? Pajama Day, while good in theory, is hell in practice. Kids in pajamas don't want to work, it's that simple. I, on the other hand, don't want to work, pajamas or no. And at this point in the semester, even students who are passing will not turn in a paper if it means they don't have to change out of their pajamas, and can stay home, doing whatever they do, squirming or crying, but not learning anything.


ErinAlice said...

My girls love PJ day and I have yet to go to school with them. Nice to see it from an adult perspective. It is no wonder that on PJ day they don't do much work and get to watch tv and eat popcorn. I mean what else do you feel like doing in jammies?? Glad you made it out alive. I guess there won't be many more PJ days in your future. Unless it is your PJ day.

lis said...

I wonder what the logic is behind pj day. Obviously it's a good deal for the kids, but how can you possibly be expected to practice your letter while wearing pj's. Really.