I'm getting old.
This week, I've been helping my new aide, Jimmie Nash, with her first grade lunch duty in the Aikin cafeteria. Frankly, I have never cared much for first graders - as a group - because collectively, they are harder to herd than cats, and much less friendly. Getting a group of first graders to all end up in the same location? It's kind of like kicking an ant hill, then trying to get the ants to all go back into that one little hole.
I tremendously admire teachers who do it successfully, because I know there's no way on God's green earth that I could.
But the reason I say I'm getting old? Watching these first graders in the lunchroom, I'm just amazed at the attitudes already on display. I saw so many kids this week, only five or six years old, already coming into school with this unattractive little swagger, a little toss of their head, purse of their lips, or roll of their eyes when an adult spoke to them that shouts to the world, "You aren't the boss of me! You can't tell me what to do!!" And it hurts my heart to see that unwillingness ALREADY to act cooperatively or respectfully or unselfishly.
I had the cutest little kid sass me - a teacher he had never seen before - when I told him to stop hitting - hard - the kid in line in front of him. And I mean sass me in a way that if it had been a five year old Amanda or James, I'd have yanked them out of there so fast on their way to a spanking that their feet would have barely touched the ground.
But you know what? At five years old, Amanda and James already knew better than to pull that kind of crap with ANY adult.
And I guess that's what hurts my heart the most...that these kids show by their actions that they don't have adults in their lives who love them enough to teach them how to act.