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Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Election.

I have about 5 half written posts that I should finish and well, post.

But first I have to say that trying to teach first graders about the election is a hillarious, sometimes disturbing, thing.

I'm really working on getting the students to use the two main candidate's names.  They are currently referring to them as "the white one" and "the black one."  Sometimes they are "the black one" and "the old one."

"Ms. Grownup" one of the students said, "That man is really old."
"Yes. Yes, he is," I replied.

They also think Cindy McCain is ugly.
"Teacher," a girl said.  "That lady is UGLY!"
"[R]!  That's not very nice!" I replied.  But the fact that I was laughing probably didn't help the situation any.

The school is doing a kidvoting election with the 1st through 5th grades on Tuesday, so I have been trying to come up with ways to kind of explain some of the issues so that they don't just vote based on whim or what they have heard.

I tried to explain how the two differ on education.  "Obama wants everyone to get to go to pre-school!  Obama wants to help people who don't have a lot of money be able to go to college.  That required an explaination of what college is.

I tried to explain how the two differ on the war.  "Obama doesn't want to be in a war.  He thinks too many people are getting hurt and it's not really helping very much.  McCain thinks the war is very important and will help the United States become better."  That discussion just devolved into a discussion on guns and how it's okay for police officers to have guns, because they are trying to keep people safe, but that 1st graders should not be touching real guns, ever.

So basically, I have failed on discussions of the election so far.  However, on Thursday my students were absolutely convinced that Obama had already won.  I opened the morning by allowing them to vote on which of two books we would read, ("just like you're going to vote on Tuesday," I explained to them).  When I said the word "vote," they all began bombarding me with "Obama is going to go to the White House!" and "Obama is the new president!"  I couldn't say anything to convince them otherwise.  I was being observed at the time, so was trying to be serious about it all, but couldn't help laughing because it was all so hillariously rediculous. Perhaps they had seen the Obama infomercial on TV the night before and thought that meant he was president, or something.  I don't know.

Anyway, on Monday and Tuesday, I am going to try to tie together discussions of race with discussions of the election in an effort to get them to stop referring to the candidates by their skin color, and also to work with the racial and skin color issues I discussed in the previous post.


Blogger Sra. Profe said...

(Slowly catching up on my reading)

This post was HILARIOUS!!! I can see those kids saying and thinking those things.

They weren't "confused" about the election results - they were clarivoyant! :)

I bet most of your little ones had all that info fly right over their heads, because they are too little to process it fully. But for the ones who were ready for it, thy got it. It sunk.

Given all the problems in education and society, I love reading your blog and seeing that there are good teachers out there, giving kids, even in less-privileged areas, a good education (in academics and other topics).

9:18 AM  

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