Monday, September 15, 2008

Dick (and Jane)

In class today, we brainstormed words that started with C and D.

The kids came up with wonderful words. Seriously ... this class is so smart and creative.

Caboose, cabinets, calamity (she didn't know what this meant, but had heard it on the TV ... hey, I give her props for even remembering it!), cavity, coffee (my favorite), concert, etc.

Dolphin, disaster, damage, dinosaur, discovery, disco, devastating, deciduous, etc.

No joking ... the KIDS came up with those on their own. I had to look 1/2 of them up on to see how to spell them.

While we were brainstorming D words, a sweet girl of mine raised her hand and (confidently) said, "DICK!"

2/3 of the kids weren't even phased by this word. Heck, their 6 years old! 

However, about 1/3 of the kids (I'll be honest ... mainly the boys) were shocked!

Some gasped. One clapped his hand over his mouth. Eyes went wide.

Shoot ... how was I going to handle this?

The only rule I have about brainstorming words is that we can't use names outside of the class. Otherwise we'll be brainstorming C and D names forever.

So I was pretty confident she didn't mean the name Dick. But I surely didn't think she meant the body part ... um ... dick.

So, I said, "Um ... excuse me?"

I have no idea why I said that. My thoughts were moving faster then my brain, that's why ... and it just came out.

So the sweetie (confidently) said, "DICK!" once again.

Great ... now I'm a teacher who makes her 1st grader say dick. 


I gently said, "Sweetie, 'dick' is actually a word we don't say in school. It's kind of a swear word."

She turned bright red and I could tell she felt terrible.

I said, "Honey, don't feel bad. You didn't know. That's my job, to teach you." Not to teach her swear words I may add.

Her neighbor still had his hand over his mouth (I was wondering, 'is he laughing, or shocked?'). So I said, "How come your hand is over your mouth?"

With wide eyes, he said, "Because she said a REALLY bad word!"

Another boy raised his hand and said, "How about DICK'S?"

Seriously? But this time I thought fast. I was ready!

"Like the restaurant?" I asked. "Yes, I love that place!"


I got an email from her mom tonight:
Email Title: heh - word that starts with D
"M" came home today telling me about the chalkboard incident where she was supposed to say a word that started with "D". She said she was thinking of her Dick and Jane books she read all summer and didn't know why 'dick' was a bad word. Just wanted to let you know the context of the word so you didn't think we say lots of foul words in front of the kids. :) Cheers!
Ah ... I so appreciate it when parents approach things with humor!

I've said it a thousand times ... I love my job!

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