I Swear I do Not Swear

For anyone that knows me, this title is definitely about me.  I swear.  I actually swear a lot.  I amaze myself that I have never slipped while teaching, because once I am off duty, my mouth has a mind of it’s own.  I don’t mean to swear that much, and technically I don’t think it is all my fault.  For the past thirteen summers I have worked special events for Budweiser.  It has been an amazing job, and I am going to really miss it.  At that job, I am around a bunch of dudes that just sit around and swear.  That is in their contract I think, that is how much they do it. Therefore I blame them for being bad influences.

Swearing has once again reared it’s ugly head in my fourth grade class again.  I have a group of about three of four boys, and if you have read some of my previous blogs, yes it is the same boys, who think they are cool because they swear.  Every chance they get, whether it be at lunch, recess, or anywhere else away from me, they swear.  I had one that got caught by my sub on Wednesday sticking up his middle finger, and mouthing “FU” to a fellow classmate.  I couldn’t believe it.  I couldn’t believe that he thinks that this type of behavior is the least bit acceptable.

I was too scared to swear when I was younger, because I knew the repercussions that would happen at home if I did.  I didn’t want any part of that.  I had a class meeting yesterday and talked about that very thing.  I then polled the class to see what their parents would do if I had them come to school and learn that their child swore.  I had three of those same boys get a look on their face and say right away that their moms would slap them.  My next question to me was very obvious…then why would you still do that, knowing the consequences of it?  The problem is they think they are sneaky, but they are not!  They continuously get caught.  My policy is if you swear, you get to call your parents and you get to tell them what you said.  They also know this.  Yet they still continue to do it!  I almost don’t feel sorry for them if they do get that consequence at home.  If I knew that was coming, I would think that I would have the sense not to do it!

I get they are young, and to them swearing makes them cool.  It makes them tough, and feel older than they are.  The biggest problem I have with this is they have recess with first and second graders.  These little guys look up to them, so when they hear the older kids do it, they think it is okay.  I have told my wife that I never want my kids riding the bus because of this very topic.  Kids on the bus talk so inappropriately it’s ridiculous.  I guess the only thing I can do is to keep reminding them, and keep trying to explain to them why it just isn’t worth it.  Hopefully one day it will sink in!

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10 comments

  1. Dana Murphy · March 12, 2016

    Oh boy, this is tough. Like, I kinda get why they do it – they’re testing the boundaries, trying to be cool. I guess you’re doing the only things you can – making sure your boundaries stay firmly in place and talking to them about it.

    I hope your words get through to them on some level.

    P.S. My daughters ride the bus. I’m worried. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • mcteaguem · March 13, 2016

      Hopefully I didn’t worry you Dana. I am hoping that it is the select few that are like that, and the rest are parented well enough to realize that this type of language is not appropriate! Like you said, all we can do is to set those boundaries and hope that what we say will eventually sink in.

      Like

  2. LuuLuu · March 12, 2016

    This is one good thing about kindergarten.. Bad words are usually stupid and shut up.. once in a great while I might get a “real” bad word but so far they don’t realize how to use it or that it is bad.. good luck with the boys…

    Liked by 1 person

    • mcteaguem · March 13, 2016

      They are so pure at that age and luckily don’t usually know those words. That is what I hope for my kids, but unfortunately they don’t always respond the way I want them to. You can only hope that they get the message over time!

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  3. beckymusician · March 12, 2016

    This is so hard to deal with! I have a boy who swears at the girls, calls them names. No adult has been able to catch him yet. It disturbs me, not only because, as you said, it’s unacceptable, but it reflects a disrespectful and dismissive attitude toward girls – and at such a young age.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mcteaguem · March 13, 2016

      It just makes me wonder where they get it from. It is so disheartening, and you wish that you could get through to them. I feel sometimes it is a lost cause, but I won’t give up.

      Like

  4. neylonk · March 12, 2016

    Oh boy. It isn’t easy, that’s for sure! They sure do keep you on your toes! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mcteaguem · March 13, 2016

      Yes they do Kelly! I know every year it is coming, I just have that thought that maybe this year it will be different

      Like

  5. Reese · March 13, 2016

    I think you always get a group of boys who really need your influence, and every year without fail you do great with them. I have felt an uptick in bad words with my students too, and some of the words are not the old standbys, they are explicit and unnerving. I also make them call and tell their parents themselves.

    Like

  6. Veronica · March 19, 2016

    I was waiting for you to come full circle!

    In an earlier piece, I remember you mentioning your inner 5-year-old, so when I came to this one and read “my mouth has a mind of it’s own” (which had me in stitches! I know, my husband is the same way!)… you led me to your own students and I was waiting for you to come back to you and tell me what your inner boy or what you as a grown man had to think about the subject, having examined what cursing brings to a little life.

    I was waiting for what you thought about what you hoped for your son, what you hoped for society. From microcosm to macrocosm.

    Such beautiful sentiments — and it’s very, very uncommon for a man to be reflective about something that’s seen as a rite of passage for many.

    On a personal note, I feel passionate about this because this has been my experience in my family, too. I’m a child of cursing, a former curser (in my youth), and the spouse and mom of cursers. (it sounds horrible!.. I guess it’s just so common).

    But, no, I have never read about a man talking about what he thinks about cursing .. you engaged me as your reader, you drew me in and now you just have me wanting more!!

    Thank you for bringing insight into such a tough issue. .. and it is tough. It kinda mars society. Wow.. more thinking, thank you! (sorry I sound like a nut)

    Like

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