Monday, September 6, 2010

Back on track...

Ok, let's get this thing restarted.  The main reason is because I really started getting more involved in Twitter, following Montessori teachers & moms and I really want to share my ideas better.  I've been thinking about a lot of stuff to the point that it's starting to bug me, not really having anywhere to share it.  So this'll be probably more school & child focused than roleplay, but that'll most likely creep back in there sometimes.
SO!  Busy busy busy.  Been getting my classroom ready for school to start this Wednesday.  I know American schools started last week, but we start the first Wednesday after Labour Day.  So there :P
New batch of preschoolers!  Woo!  I'll miss my children from last year (my 'minions' as I jokingly referred to them near the end of the school year.  Mostly to make my boss laugh.) but they're off to bigger and better things and I wish them all the best!  Now I have a new challenge to contend with: the 'girly-girls'.  There are 2 (maybe 3) girls who act more like teenagers than 4 year olds.  It's all about fashion, tv, music, and clothes.  This grates me for several reasons:
  1. They tend to clique together and alienate the other children.
  2. These are the same type of children that created hell for me growing up.
  3. It makes you wonder what their moms are actually thinking, and if they realise what they're setting themselves up for later on.
  4. It also makes you wonder what types of messages they're being fed through all the media they're exposed to, and it worries me.
  5. One of them has already decided that one of the boys in the class is her 'boyfriend' because their last names are similar.  This worries me.
  6. They are far too aware of things that, in their context, are far too mature for them.  Mostly, they're aware of their bodies and parts, but in all the wrong ways.
The last one is the most worrisome of all.  Mostly, I worry that they're learning these things before they're learning to have healthy proper relationships, and that this will skew their perspective on relationships, putting them at high risk for teenage pregnancy.  They're being taught to be 'women' and not 'children'.
I was on youtube the other day, watching clips from the tv special 'Free to and me', where two babies were trying to figure out what they were (boy/girl).  It was interesting in that it dealt with the stereotypes we place on children on what it means to be a 'boy' or a 'girl'.

This is something I deal with all the time.  Children telling each other they can't do something or they can't like something because it's 'for girls' or it's 'for boys'.  Who says?  This is something I've had to deal with my whole life.  I grew up a very staunch tomboy.  I hated having to wear dresses and skirts.  I constantly had my mother getting on me as I got older, to wear my uniform skirts more as opposed to my shorts and pants, because I was a 'girl child' (my mother's Jamaican, if you're wondering about the phrase).  I've been asked if I was a lesbian because of being such a tomboy.  People always trying to get me to wear makeup so I'd look more like a 'lady'.
Now that I'm in my late 20s, I still prefer pants to skirts and dresses, although I will wear them when I want.  Also, I've invested in some quality makeup that I've started to wear more frequently because I want to.  See, the difference is that I do it because I want to, not because other people have told me that I should.  This is what I want to instill in my students.  I want them to be able to be who they are, and know who they are, not to be what the media tells them to be.  Now, if I can only get the parents on board.
I can already see my first day of school being about respect and courtesy, as well as new material.  It's going to be a tough battle.

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