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Lunch with teacher

Submitted by on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 No Comment

When we last left Big Guy, his big mouth was causing problems at school on a daily basis. It’s a seasonal issue for him that’s going to crop up just as sure as the teacher and the seasons change every fall. Being aware of a pattern and being able to break it are two different matters, though.

Last Tuesday Big Guy came home with the news: He’d landed on yellow, which is a step up from OK behavior on his school’s color scale. If he could do that for a solid week, he’d get to eat lunch with his teacher.

Back in November, I wouldn’t have bet on that one. While he had many good days, the roll usually was interrupted by a day on blue or purple – both of which are below acceptable.

It’s not as if he’s a “bad” kid in the traditional sense – he’s not mean, and he doesn’t bully. At least not at school. At home with his brother is a different matter.

But by modern school standards, his inability to keep quiet is a serious problem.

Granted, our district is a stronger believer than most in the “silence is golden” maxim. In the third- through fifth-grade school, kids aren’t allowed to talk at lunch, a parent told me recently. One chatty kid had kept an entire class in during recess that very day, she added.

Oh, they’re going to love Big Guy when he lands there. I can see his friends smuggling duct tape into their backpacks in desperate attempts to keep him quiet.

For a while I was ready to send a roll this year. September ended, and we were officially past the point when I could say he was challenging his teacher to see if she meant it when she said the rules are the rules. October had rolled by, and he clearly knew what good behavior looked like – he’d picked a friend to model. November closed, and despite reminders every day to watch the chatter at certain points in the day when he was prone to get in trouble, he was still getting in trouble.

December came, and I was worn out. To add insult to injury, his PE teacher had failed him in the behavior category, and it was all due to talking. He was the only kid in his class who had passed all the President’s Council on Physical Fitness standards, but he flunked because his mouth runs as quickly as his legs.

The new year, though, brought a new Big Guy. Most days of the week, he ended the day at green – the color for OK behavior. That was OK by me. I don’t expect saintliness. I don’t even put that high a value on silence – just enough to get by is fine with me.

It wasn’t for him. Once he got on a roll, he wasn’t going to be happy until he earned the coveted luncheon date. He got it Monday.

He ate chicken nuggets, oven fries and peaches. He got to drink juice in honor of the special occasion. I also packed two small chocolates, which he offered to share with his dining companion. She declined, and she also insisted that he eat the peaches.

The container was empty when he got home, so I’m assuming he’d quit talking long enough to gobble them down.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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