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What Happens at Home Does NOT Stay at Home

A word to parents:  While you might be worried about Twitter knowing your address and phone number, even more intimate details about what goes on in your household get shared about you every day at school.  Here are a few conversations I heard amongst my Gifted and Talented students this week (of course, all of the names below are pseudonyms).

My third graders (8 years old) were using the iPad to make a puppet show video.  They chose their characters from the “Talk Show Set.”  Here is their group discussing their own creation.

Jay (pointing at the Talk Show Host they had chosen):  Is that a boy or a girl?

Dave:  It’s a girl.

Conan:  No, it’s a boy.

Dave:  No-o-o, it’s a girl who acts like a boy.  It’s Ellen.

Jay:  Ellen?  Isn’t that the one on the J.C. Penney ad?  My mom was talking about that.

Dave:  Yeah, did you see the Facebook thing?  There’s a whole thing about that. My mom –

Jay and Dave did not have the chance to go into more detail on the “J.C. Penney thing”, as the fourth group member quickly informed them that they were off-task, and they got back to work.  I was slightly disappointed, though, as I was a little curious about how an 8 year old would explain the “J.C. Penney thing” about which he seemed so knowledgeable based on his Facebook source.

Strangely, Ellen made an appearance in another conversation in my classroom this week.  This was an exchange amongst my four Kinder students.  Keep in mind, these kids are 6 years old:

Belle:  My mother is French and my father is from Puerto Rico.  Of course, he speaks Spanish all of the time.

Ariel:  I speak some British.

Belle:  He talks in Spanish to his whole family from Puerto Rico.  Of course, to his mother because she would spank him if he didn’t.  (Belle chuckles at her own comment.)

Pocahantas:  My mother can’t draw a thing.  I tried to teach her.

Ariel:  Oh, didn’t that help when you tried to teach her?

Pocahantas: No, she just wants to watch Ellen when I get home.

Belle:  You should be in pageants (to Pocahantas, not to me, although that would have made much more sense).

Ariel:  Do you watch –

Belle:  Toddlers and Tiaras?  Of course!  I never miss a show.  You know, they are completely different people when they are on the stage than they are when they aren’t.

Ariel nods knowingly.

Belle (to Pocahantas, again):  You really should be in pageants.  You’ve got a perfect face.  I would love to be in pageants.  The best part is they wear makeup.  I really wanted Avis to win.  She was the best.

Ariel again nods knowingly.

Pocahantas clearly does not know what Belle is talking about.

Jasmine (completely uninterested in this entire discussion):  Sometimes I can color in the lines, but sometimes I can’t.  I struggle with it a lot.

The timer goes off.

Jasmine gets the award for revealing the least about her family’s television and computer habits.

I’m wondering if their parents have any idea how much these kids are taking in at home.  I think we need to start tattooing disclaimers on the feet of babies before they are released from the hospital.  “Parental Warning – Nothing You Say, Do, or Watch will Ever Be Private Again.”

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4638981545/”>opensourceway</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;
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