The exasperating thing about tutoring young children for a living is that I now have an extensive collection of games and toys for teaching, and they all come with lots of parts and gadgets, so I constantly find myself having to say, “Ok, it’s time to refocus, please stop fiddling with the toys now. Right now, please.”
And then Eric puts down the toy and I can finally place it in my work bag.
Referring to a classroom activity…
Ok, so. NOT something boys grow out of.
My 4th grade student told me about her slightly older brother having a sleepover with his friends at their apartment.
Kid: “So I knew he was having a sleepover with all boys so OBVIOUSLY I made plans to sleep at my friend’s house.”
Me: “Oh, yeah. Wise move.”
Kid: “But then my friend got sick and I couldn’t go! So I had to be there with all the boys. AND IT WAS CHAOS.”
Me: “Oh, I can imagine! Boys can be wild.”
Kid: “Yeah but you don’t even understand. Before they went to bed…they did the grossest thing…”
Me: “I’m scared….”
Kid: “They ALL TOOK OFF THEIR SHIRTS.”
Me (relieved but feigning drama): “What?! NO! Their SHIRTS?!”
Kid: “I know. It. Was. DISGUSTING! Boys are soooo gross!!!”
Oh, girlfriend. Just you wait.
Zack: “Dude. I haven’t showered since…”
(Long pause. Literally a 30-second, dead silent pause while he tries to figure it out)
Zack: “I don’t even know.”
We had students choose someone special and write that person a love cinquain poem. Two boys got right down to work….
Kid 1: “So who are you writing your valentine poem for?”
Kid 2: “Sarah.”
Kid 1: “Who’s Sarah?”
Kid 2: “Well, there are actually two Sarahs. One is my cousin, another is this girl I know from camp. Not sure yet which one I’m giving it to.”
Kid 1 (gravely serious): “Dude– you should definitely give it to your cousin. Giving a love poem to someone who’s not in your family would be REALLY weird.”
And so it begins. Two young boys who understand nothing about love, soon to be grown men who understand nothing about love.