A few days ago, at bus time, I had walked over to my computer to put my keys down from recess and saw an email that annoyed me. Without going into details, I wasn’t happy. As I walked over to the last group of kids lined up to head home, I let Mrs. D. know how angry I was.

To be clear, I didn’t use any profanity. I didn’t use any names. I didn't raise my voice. She knew who sent the email and what the issue was. I was venting quietly and she, like the good friend she is, was listening.

Well, Audra, one of our brighter little sprouts, overheard me.

“Mr. A., are you and Mrs. D. having a fight?” She asked with sincere concern in her voice.

“Oh no, not at all. Mrs. D. and I don’t fight. We may not always agree, but we respect each other and always talk to each other in a kind way,” I told her.

“What are you so upset about?” She inquired.

“Just some grown up stuff, but nothing to do with Mrs. D.,” I reassured her.

Sometimes I forget that in addition to teaching our class how to read and write, Mrs. D. and I are modeling a caring and respectful relationship between a man and a woman, something new to some children. Although we don’t live together (yes, we’ve been asked), we’re friends and friends are kind… always.


Karen Greenberg said...

I am student teaching in a classroom with a male mentor teacher. We have come to the same realization. The students try to pit us against each other like they would their parents. We have had to form a different relationship than we would if we were of the same gender. I think it's a great opportunity for the students to see a man and a woman working together. Keep up the good work!

izzy said...

Hahahaha children are always very observant! I like your post! And i agree with Karen Greenberg about having male in a classroom. Especially preschools.

Ginger Snaps said...

Kids are so keen on stuff. I have a kid who is so incredibly intelligent it freaks me out. In third grade he uses phrases like, "I face so many challenges," and "so and so was very innapropriate." It reminds me to be careful about what I say and do!

nccarlgreen said...

Sadly, to many students the interactions between professional men and women at school may be the only positive interaction between the sexes that child sees all day. To these children, it is critical to model behavior that is respectful and considerate to one another.