Monday, August 2, 2010

Testing, Testing, 123...


"No matter how one may think himself accomplished, when he sets out to learn a new language, science, or the bicycle, he has entered a new realm as truly as if he were a child newly born into the world." ~Frances Willard, How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle

I took a lot of classes in early childhood education. I read lots of books on children, too. But nothing could prepare me for the feeling I had when I was given my first group of five-year-olds. I wish I could have said I radiated confidence, but quite frankly it really believe kids can smell fear.
"The kids are going to test you." My college professor warned. I had not clue what she actually meant by that until I saw certain behaviors in the kids.
I remember in the movie Kindergarten Cop where the fed up Kindergarten Teacher  (Arnold Schwarzenegger) said, "There is no bathroom!"
What is it about going to the bathroom anyway?
The class and I eventually knew what to expect of each other until the next batch of children entered my classroom. Here we go again...
Testing. I suppose we all test one another to a certain degree, don't we? To see where one anothers limits, boundaries and integrity lie. I find out so much about myself and the children during these times.

What are some areas you have found the kids like to test in? How do you or the kids tend to react during testing?

How did you test adults as a child?

6 comments:

Barbra Stephens said...

I used to test my mom over food. I never ate much as a kid and I knew it worried her. I would see food on T.V. and as her to make it. If it didn't look like the picture on T.V. I didn't want it. My Mom and Dad quickly caught on and warned me about it.
I tested them once more.....
I believe I can go on the Guinness Book of World Record for how long it took me to eat the hot dog I asked for. I must have sat for hours....
I never did it again....

Katie Hellerman said...

Kids of all ages love to test and see how much you'll tell them about your personal life. "Are you as old as my mom?", "Do you have a boy friend?", "What kind of shampoo do you use?"
I usually recommend answering the silly ones "peach shampoo" and deflecting the really personal ones by asking the student "Do you (the student) have a boyfriend?"....because the one thing kids love doing more than testing you...is talking about themselves.

Jenni said...

Oh I was a horrible child! Constantly testing EVERYTHING! I was (am) stubborn to no end! I think my challenging behaviors as a child are what helps me relate so well to challenging children today. I mean, if someone told me the sky was blue I would argue that it was green with red stripes!

What I find most children test in the classroom is which teachers will follow through. You know, they say line up, but do they really MEAN line up? Or can I play with the blocks a bit longer? If teachers don't follow through, especially those first weeks of school as they establish the discipline for the school year, they've lost it!

Barbra Stephens said...

@ Katie, I love the sense of humor approach! Kids really just want our attention in the end. I have always thought of testing as everyone's way of figuring out exactly what kind of attention they are willing to get (As Well)

@ Jenni, lol. That doesn't surprise me. I have found that to really understand kids you can't have childhood amnesia about your own. You seen to relate to them really well. It's no wonder you are such an advocate.

abbie said...

I am tested daily over nap time. My daughter uses going to the bathroom as a constant reason to not stay in her bed. Because I don't want to discourage using the potty I am quite stuck! Very frustrating right now.

Barbra Stephens said...

Ah Yesssss. The bathroom. This too shall pass. It has been my own experience that ruling out any medical problem, from the doctor...then no fluids before nap and going just before nap well, should put ones mind at rest. I mean, we don't pull over every five minutes for a child to go potty...or rush to through the back of a mall every few for potty breaks...
At this point I have found that it is up to me to let a child go. When it is understood this is going on and why, it is then that I will not allow a child to simply get up whenever they want. Sometimes waiting 5 minutes or so before another potty break is in order. Accidents happen and that is truly how a child learns...not just simply sitting every few minutes. I hope it works out for you, Abbie. Sometimes even the less attention we give to it the better...