Today was a strange day. I am not sure how to feel about it because most of the kids were excellent! There was just one instance that has me reeling…
One of my students got incredibly angry over the fact that we didn’t eat the teacher’s snack or the peanut butter crackers the birthday girl’s grandmother brought in. We just didn’t have time to drink a juice and eat apple sauce, swiss cake rolls, and peanut butter crackers. Two of the four was plenty! The birthday girl didn’t even mention the crackers. What drove me the most crazy was that they student who was angry should have had no idea there were peanut butter crackers in there because the bags were closed and neither I nor the birthday girl mentioned it. It drives me nuts when kids do things like that. I say at least five times a day, “Is that yours?… Then should you be touching it?” Because I cannot handle it when kids mess with things that do not belong to them. I know they are kids and kids do that but it is the end of kindergarten and we should have learned that by this point. That is how you end up with a kid in the nurse for stapling his finger or taking things out of the room that do not belong to them.
The worst part is that he was so angry about it! He was yelling at me because I wouldn’t pass them out. First that he shouldn’t have known they were there and second that he felt he had a right to yell at me over crackers makes me quite concerned for his future! I cannot get it out of my mind. I have been yelled at by kids before about even worse things. I have had kids say that I was treating them like animals because I sent them to their rooms to play while I was trying to fix them dinner. That was by far the worst experience I have ever had when it came to kids. This whole yelling-over-crackers thing just brought all of issues I have with entitlement up.
Everyone feels entitled to things and frankly most of don’t even deserve the things we have already! We work as little as possible to get as much as we can. We expect other people to just hand us things because we want them. The worst part is that we get angry when someone says no. No one earned peanut butter crackers in the classroom today. The terrible thing I keep thinking about is that this student probably went home and told his family that I only gave the class one snack instead of three and they probably reinforced that that was unfair. Why else would he have acted like that? Kids are, at 6 years old, entirely a product of their environment. When entitlement and atrocious behavior is reinforced why should they should stop doing it or think they deserve whatever they want?
That is what happened with the two kids who told me I was treating them like animals (something no 4 and 6 year old would say unless they heard it from someone else…). They screamed at me for 45 minutes about how much they hated me and how terrible I was until their mother walked in. She blamed me. She told me I should have just made them a peanut butter sandwich instead of an actual dinner then this would not have happened. When I gave my two weeks notice that I was quitting after a similar thing happened a few days later, she told the kids I was leaving because I didn’t like them. This was three years ago and I still feel sick over the whole thing. I know I made the right choice but I absolutely hate that she made it my fault in the eyes of her kids. They never had to take responsibility for their actions.
Until today, I had trouble understanding when teachers talked about students they had that went to jail and how they saw it coming in kindergarten or first grade but I get it now. I hate that I get it now. It is wild to think that screaming at me over not getting crackers that no one in the class got will probably lead this person to do the same to someone else like a police officer and get into real trouble.
I really need talk with my classroom teacher about this! I am all shaken up and panicky inside over it. I have been yelled at by much more powerful and important people yet this particular incident has really bothered me. I should have been a good day. The other students behaved really well…