Tuesday, March 13, 2012
We all knew this child when we were in school. We met her somewhere between fourth and tenth grade. She's the girl who is always pretty, hair always fixed, clothes just so. She isn't too quick nor too slow academically, probably a B to C+ student. She's popular with both students and faculty, and probably charms parents. But she's also a mean girl - bullying anyone who isn't in her clique. She thinks she can do whatever she wants because she knows she's cute. And she probably has gotten away with a lot in the past. But by seventh or eighth grade, the behavior isn't cute anymore.
I have her in my last class. She ran for Miss [insert name of school] and apparently lost badly, despite the fact that she had a lot of students voting for her. But she bombed out on the talent section, according to all stories I've heard. (One student told me this child's talent was "standing on a chair and lifting her leg." Made me laugh! I'm still confused, but I think it was some sort of dance routine on a chair.)
At any rate, this was the scene in art class this afternoon:
One little girl was counting out her money. I went over to ask if it was for me (since counting money in class is never a good idea). Child laughed and said, sure. Continued counting, then said something smelled funny.
Little Miss Too Cute Mean Girl said, "It's Ms Schwartz!"
Other girl said no, smell the money - we agreed it smelled funny, maybe musty or moldy.
At the end of school, I told Little Miss TCMG that I needed to speak with her, and I excused everyone else - I walked over and said, "When you said it was me who smelled funny, what were you thinking? Was this supposed to make me like you more?"
"No, Ms Schwartz."
"Was it supposed to make me give you a better grade?"
"No, Ms. Schwartz."
I sat down opposite her and just looked at her. She said her bus was going to leave. I looked at her and said, "And what do you think I'm waiting for?"
She said, "I'm sorry for saying you smell stink, Ms. Schwartz."
"And it will never happen again?" I prompted.
"And it will never happen again," she agreed. So I sent her out.
I seriously wonder how kids get to be like this! Do they speak to their parents like that? Other teachers? I realize she was trying to be funny and cool with her friends, but this was seriously bratty, even snarky. And there was no way I wasn't going to deal with it. Because I don't tolerate mean girls, and I think it's time they learn that life doesn't owe them anything, that they need to earn respect and grades and success.
We'll see how she is tomorrow.