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18 December 2009

Hairstyles, names also become issues

I understand the frustration of the teacher (a female) who was so tired of a 7-year-old girl playing with a beaded braid that she cut it off.

One year, a 6-year-old in my class had her hair braided the same way, as if she had a veil. I asked the child to tell her mother how distracting it was for the girl trying to do "seat work" while the beads bounced across her eyes.

The mother's reply, as I recall, was essentially "Don't worry about it." I wrote her a note, with the same results.

My estimation of the situation was that the mother was more concerned with "cuteness" than with being told what was good for her child's academic progress. The principal eventually reasoned with the woman.

That reminds me of parents not wanting their children called by their names, but only by nicknames. It took some of the children awhile to adjust to answering to their real name, as it did for "Big Mama." And you thought AYP and global warming were all teachers have to worry about.

West Marcus