The S Word!!!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Ms.T, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Ms.T

    Ms.T Comrade

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    Mar 9, 2007

    I am going crazy with my 2nd graders. I KNOW it is not nice to say "stupid" or "dumb" but when I read a story or novel and come across one of those words, I actually read them. Call me a crazy liberal teacher, but I don't think those are such bad words! But they all gasp as if I had said the REAL S-word.

    I have calmly explained to them that it is in the story and it is okay to read, but I don't want them calling each other or anyone else stupid or dumb.

    Is there some sort of conspiracy to get rid of 'stupid' and 'dumb' from our childrens' vocabularies altogether? During one of our discussions about it today, some of them didn't even understand what stupid meant! :eek:

    Comments, opinions, etc.? I'm curious about how people feel about this - especially parents of youngish children.
     
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  3. tm91784

    tm91784 Comrade

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    I have children in my class who say "so and so said a bad word" and the "bad" word is usually "stupid" or "dumb." I agree that they could be saying much worse things. I just say that these are not nice words and leave it at that. I have had a preschooler who said every actual bad word in the book, so these words are very minor!
     
  4. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    As a parent and a teacher of the young, I don't allow them to use those words. I try to use their young years to train them to use kind or thoughtful words. As they get older, those words really are stupid and dumb in and of themselves, because they don't really TELL anything! So we don't use them then either. I think it is important to teach and model kind, assertive behavior. I don't think that would include those words for young children. When kids do use those words, I too tell them they are not kind words, so choose something else to say.
     
  5. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    On yard duty the other day a little kid came to tell me that someone had said the "s" word. Really? Yes, he said (this in a whisper) shut up! I thought it was kind of cool that such a little kid knew that shut started with an s. [:)

    I have no problem with kids using stupid or dumb, as long as they are used properly. So you can't say that Fred is stupid, but you sure can say that Fred did something stupid. I have been known to berate a child by saying something to the effect of, "You are such an intelligent kid - why did you do something so stupid?" clearly differentiating between the child and the action.
     
  6. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Oh not the S word!!
    Junie B Jones books use the S word!
     
  7. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I don't call them cuss words when I talk to my kids, but I also talk about the appropriate way to use them. They usually get it. The word I have the most trouble with is crap. It's their favorite word sometimes.
     
  8. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Mar 9, 2007

    Another "S" word I hate is when someone says "It or that SUCKS!" Now that is a stupid phrase!
     
  9. Ms.T

    Ms.T Comrade

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    Mar 9, 2007

    Thanks for all of your comments! Mrs. LC, I really like how you differentiate between someone being stupid and someone doing stupid things.
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    A lot depends on the age. If you say "That thing you did was a stupid thing to do," many younger students aren't mature enough to not internalize and personalize it yet. They may be able to do it when an adult does it, but when another kid does it (as strange as it sounds), it's not the same. I was laughing today because I was doing all the things they get mad at each other about (stupid really..haha..yes, I can say it here) regarding sportsmanship and they were fine. If one of them does the slightest thing (right or wrong), it's more personal. As they get older, they can handle the difference. Younger students have trouble with tattling, being ultra sensitive, etc about peer social situations.
     
  11. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

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    I reply "only vacuums suck. Not math, or L.A. or reading, vacuums,"
     
  12. Christine3

    Christine3 Cohort

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    Mar 10, 2007

    I hear the J word...JERK in my 1st grade classroom!
    Whoever I hear it from they loose recess.
     
  13. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    Instead of stupid, we say bad. The child isn't bad; they made a bad choice.

    I had a child tell me that something we did was lame the other day. Six years old and he knew what lame was!

    I don't think that we should tell children stupid is a bad word. It's not bad. We know what the bad words are. It's simply not a nice thing to say to someone.
     
  14. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Well, I think unkind, insulting, put down words should not be used by kids, especially the really young ones. I guess I am pretty strict in my classroom. I work hard to treat the kids with respect and use respectful words. I want them to help make our classroom a positive place. I guess I have a lot of words/phrases that are not allowed. Here is my list: sucks, crap, stupid, shut up, dumb, "holy ___" , anything that uses God's name in vain, and calling others names. I don't speak that way myself and I think there are just some words that are tearing down words, not building up words. We work on being peacemakers. One big step is to state what you don't like, state what you want from the other person, and work things out. Using some of these words mentioned does not make for peace between people, but stirs up anger and frustration in others. I often ask a student, "Are your words making peace or causing more of a problem?" Just my thoughts.
     
  15. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Oh yes, my personal most disliked word, banned from home and classroom: B-O-R-I-N-G-! If a child is bored, well there are so many things to do to remedy that sensation!!!!
     
  16. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    My chemistry teacher tried the last day of school to explain to us why "NOTHING sucks, that it's 'Physics-ly impossible'" I never DID understand what a vacuum does, then...
     
  17. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    I had one student come up to me and say, "M said holy sh*t". I pulled M over to talk to him, and he got very defensive and said, "No, no, I didn't, I said holy crap!" (Like that's so much better.) I told him, "any time you talk about something holy, you better be talking about God." (Of course, this is a student whose first language is Spanish, but I've had several situations with him using swear words at school.)
     
  18. AngelHead

    AngelHead Comrade

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    Good one! I think I might use that.
     
  19. Ms.T

    Ms.T Comrade

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    Mar 11, 2007

    Just to clarify, I NEVER say anything is stupid or dumb in front of my students. And I NEVER let them say it about each other; in fact I have never heard any of them use it. I just get irritated that all of them seem to have been told by their parents that it is a 'bad word', and they should never use it EVER. I have bigger fish to fry! They could be using the real bad words! I just don't like to constantly skip over those words in texts that I am reading to them - many of which are highly regarded children's literature.

    My personal no-no word is "easy" as in "This is so easy!" because I have a lot of slower students, so I don't like them to feel bad when something is not easy for them. I've told them why I don't like them to use it, but I don't freak out if they do. I just remind them not to.

    I also like the "only vacuums suck!" That would be good if the kids were older. :)
     
  20. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    I hate 'retarded', as in 'that's/you are..' I also can't stand to hear someone calling someone else 'retard'.
     
  21. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    My kids are old enough (5th grade) that I talk to them about the way society has changed the meaning of words (retarded and ignorant are two that I highlight). We talk about the true meanings of the words and that sometimes they are proper to be used, but that we don't because of the way they are perceived. Then I ask them about words that they use different than the way they are meant to be used. Their "hot" word right now is snap. We talk about what they mean by the word as opposed to how they are supposed to be used.
     
  22. prettyinpink

    prettyinpink Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2007

    my kids favorite thing to say is "your whole generation" we once did a mini-lesson on what a generation even is...needless to say it worked for a few weeks but every once in a while when they get mad at eachother some one will say "your whole generation"
     

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