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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

X

Part X of the 2015 A-Z Blogging Challenge

I was in first grade at school. We were learning about the alphabet by... I don't know, just coming up with a word for each letter? Something like that. Anyway, this was the time when Xena: Warrior Princess was on TV and I loved the show. Having not seen it and forgotten all about it since then, I'm not sure if that's an embarrassing thing to admit. The name Xena was the word I wrote down for X.

My teacher came along to check out my work. She was a dear older lady with a thin frail body and a Northern British accent. She scanned the list, and hesitated towards the bottom.
'What's this word here?' she asked, pointing out the X.
'Xena. It's a show on TV.'
'Ah, well Xena starts with a Z,' she said with a smile.
'No it doesn't!' I piped up in my indignant 6-year-old voice. 'It starts with an X!'
'Well it could be pronounced "Ex-ena"', she smiled before handing back the sheet and wandering off to help other kids.
"Yeah, it could," I thought angrily. "But it doesn't."
It was the first time I'd ever realised an adult could be not only wrong, but ignorantly so.

Here's a perfect example that I wish were false, but I'm glad I now have the story to tell. One of my mum's employees was complaining about an incident that occurred between her daughter and her teacher at school. The teacher had asked the class where milk comes from. One student put up their hand and said "From the shop." The teacher congratulated her and moved on. This employee and her daughter lived on a farm, so the daughter had a problem with that. She put up her hand and said "Um, excuse me, milk actually comes from a cow." The teacher told her she was wrong.

WHAT?

Okay, let's be as objective as possible here. Maybe the milk wasn't the important part of the equation. Maybe the teacher just picked a random grocery to illustrate their lesson about the supermarket. Maybe the milk could have been substituted for bread, eggs - heck, even Snickers bars. That's more likely (and MUCH less scary) to assume than when the alternative is that the person entrusted with raising the future doesn't even know that cows make milk. So if that is the case... WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU TELL THE KID SHE'S WRONG?

So yeah, it's a very important lesson to learn - the people who were here before you don't necessarily know better.

23 comments:

  1. Though out of context, this reminds me of 1 Timothy 4:12 - 'don't let anyone look down on you because you are young...' - and shows the importance of doing your own homework.

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    1. That's definitely within context, and it's very true. Of course the bible figured it out before I did ;)

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  2. Sounds like that teacher needs to go back to school themselves. I enjoyed Xena and Hercules haha

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    1. I remember watching them both, but I remember nothing of what happened :P

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  3. "Let no man despise your youth!" Susan hit the nail right on the head.

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  4. hahaha, bravo!!! I totally am on your side on this one. Smart boy!

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    1. Hahaha thanks :) You know where it's at ;)

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  5. So true!
    Milk doesn't come from a cow? Really? What if she'd said goat? That would've really thrown the teacher for a loop.

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    1. And when we try to tell her that people give milk as well? (mind explosion)

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    1. Could you explain that one for me? I'm a little slow on the uptake :P

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  7. Wow! I would have been pretty angry to be told I was wrong too. Though, I often didn't speak up when I knew something was wrong for fear of getting in trouble in grade school. I once got lost on a math problem and my second grade teacher got angry when I raised my hand to tell him I made an error, please help me get back on track. He was so mad (why, I still don't know) he threw a chalkboard eraser at me. I think even the youngest of people need to be heard out and not be made to feel like fools, right or wrong.

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    1. That's deplorable. Even if there was something going on with him that we didn't know about, there's never a forgivable reason to throw something at a child. I hope that didn't affect you too much :P

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  8. Adults can certainly be wrong. Good story and hooray for Xena! That teacher probably would get X-Men wrong too - ha!

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    1. How on Earth does she pronounce "xylophone"?

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  9. I think it's annoying when teachers are like that. When I was little I wanted to check out a book that had cool pictures. Instead of asking why I wanted to check the book out, the Librarian said, "That book is too easy for you. You can't check that out." For a long time after that I didn't want to read. If it didn't have pictures, why bother? Finally I got a teacher that said, "Alissa you can make pictures in your mind." That worked for me.

    When Mica was in preschool they went to a farm. When asked, "What animals are on a farm?" He said, "Peacocks." They said, "No!" He argued it. My husband turned around and said, "Yes peacocks can be on a farm. I had a neighbor growing up that had tons of peacocks on their farm."

    I often say to my students, "True, but that's not the answer I was thinking of." It's not to shut them out, and say they are wrong. It's just not what I was thinking.

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    1. That's perfectly reasonable - I've also used the "You're right, but I was looking for a different answer" approach. That not only shows respect for the other person, but proves you do actually know what you're talking about :P

      Do you have any insight as to what that second teacher in my story might have been thinking?

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  10. What a silly teacher! She should have told the girl that milk comes from any creature with titties, not just cows.

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    1. Or maybe the girl should have taught that to the teacher :P

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  11. As a former teacher, I can say that there are people who should never be allowed in a classroom...not because they make mistakes, but because they act smug and condescending to kids and don't admit when they've made mistakes...or maybe are too ignorant to know when they're wrong. Any adult who is afraid to admit he's made a mistake is too insecure to be a good influence on kids.

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    1. Absolutely, I recently learned a lesson about leadership where anyone who doesn't try to keep learning loses the support of those under them.

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