Rick came in the room whimpering. His knee was scraped. A bit of blood was oozing out. I directed him toward the first aid kit and said, “It’s only a knee. Knees grow back.” The kids argued with me.
Later, Jake came in with a skinned elbow. I directed him to the first aid kit and said, “It’s only an elbow. Elbows grow back.” The kids argued with me.
Throughout the course of the year I have assured them that elbows, knees, fingers, feet, arms, legs, ears, noses and heads grow back. Always they argue with me. Often one of them asks, “What kind of teacher are you?” Jasmine frequently says, “We aren’t starfish, Ms. A!”
Today I repeated the phrase, “It’ll grow back,” at least a half dozen times. People kept banging, poking and thumping themselves. Luckily no real injuries occurred. As I was reading aloud to the kids after recess, Jasmine picked up a pair of scissors and started snipping the ends of her hair. I yelled –“Stop!” — loud, startled, and dramatically.
Jasmine froze, scissors poised, mouth in an O, eyes wide. “Don’t cut that,” I cried. “It won’t grow back!”
Jasmine yelled, “You scared me!”
Cindi said in disgust, “Honestly, Ms. A., how can you expect us to believe anything you say?”
That’s just it. I don’t want them to believe. I want them to think!