Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Name on the Board"


I have a question for all my teacher friends out there. What in the world happens when you have to write a student’s “name on the board”? I had no idea the gripping power of those 4 simple words. In our “learning” room, where we have school, we have 2 chairs from IKEA. The chairs were exactly what I wanted— right size, right colors, right price, right “look” etc.--- except one fancy feature. They spin. Yes, ’round and ’round and ’round. When I purchased them, I thought, every swivel/spin chair has the option of becoming stationary, right? Spin, spin, spin. (I have to mention the loud THUD it makes when the back of the chair is abruptly stopped by the edge of the desk!) Well, during school time, it seems this is my biggest battle with Julia. Do you know that children use about 95% of their brain power to spin a chair ’round and ’round? And the last 5% is used wondering if they are doing something wrong and how they can stop the spinning chair? Needless to say, the chairs are a HUGE distraction. (But did I mention how great they look in the room?)

Back to my question. Sometimes during our school time, I mention things to her I hear other moms and teachers say about their school and the way they do things. “Name on the board” just happened to be one of those interesting tidbits I thought I’d try on for size and boy, did it fit perfectly. Her cute lip quivers at the mention of her “name on the board”. Really—quivers. What do you teachers do when you write their names on the board? Is it written in some cryptic Gothic script with blood dripping from the letters and little beady eyes peering out from the “o’s” and “a’s”? (Can you teach me?) Does it mean their school fate is doomed to being sequestered in a tight locker somewhere down the hall and fed lunchroom toast and tap water? What about this consequence to poor behavior makes a little lip quiver?? I am curious about the secret power it commands. Since I have realized what fear this expression puts into my gal, these 4 words will be reserved only for behaviors MUCH worse than spinning in the chair—as evil as it seems at the time, I will refrain ................or get a new chair.

6 comments:

"Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

I don't know why that phrase wields such power, but it does. I was asked once by my kindergarten teacher to "keep it down" (the warning before name goes on the board). I was so embarrassed that I had let her down that I "kept it down" the remainder of my schooling years. However, those words had zero power in my younger sister's mind, and she frequently found her name on the board in big mouth. Maybe it's a first-born thing.

Margie said...

We, too, have a desk chair that spins. And now quite a bit of bang has been put into, not only the desk, but the bookcase just beside it. I am so tired of saying, "NO SPINNING IN THE CHAIR," that I might just add, "AND IF YOU DON'T STOP NOW I'M WRITING YOUR NAME ON THE BOARD." Think that it will wield the same power with a 3-yr-old?

TJ Wilson said...

As far as I know, Hud hasn't gotten his name on the board yet this year. You can imagine the paralysis it would inflict. Grateful that some teachers are aware of their student's limitations with discipline...

spaghettipie said...

Interesting that it wields such power when she's the only student. I always thought the power of it came from the "public humiliation" aspect of having everyone clearly see who got into trouble.

Can you wedge the chair in someplace so there's no room to spin? Or perhaps shove something up in the base to keep it from being able to rotate?

nikki said...

i think the fear comes from the possibility that one may have to visit the principal if they get their name on the board...would that be jeff?

meh said...

That phrase may lose its horror at some point. I distinctly remember that once I hit jr. high, it became somewhat a badge of honor. Those poor jr. high teachers!!!