Wanda was doing her homework on Monday which was, and I kid you not, telling her stuffed animals about her classroom job. The school is experimenting with moving toward a “no homework” model by giving them little tasks. These are tasks that in the past would have been undertaken without assignment by any normal human child back in the days before they all became tablet-slurping cyborgs.
So now we get lists of things she can do to act like a kid and communicate with “her stuffed animals” (Translation: parents) about what’s happening in the classroom.
With the tasks, comes a worksheet and on that worksheet is a line to write the student’s name.
Wanda looked at the sheet.
“Oh,” she said, “We’re supposed to put our name at the top.”
I smiled and nodded and kept working on digging through my email.
She held her hand out to me, palm-forward.
“No,” she said in a lofty tone, “I need to do it. It’s my responsibility.”
Ummm…okay. No one’s stopping you. I looked after her as she lifted her shoulders into her best possible posture, tossed her hair, and marched off to get a pencil.
I kept on with my email.
“You see, mom? I have a new trait. It’s called responsibility. We’re studying it at school.”
“That is awesome. Good for you.”
All day, she was focused on her responsibility.
I helped her find her missing shoes.
“Thanks for helping mom. But next time I should probably do it myself because it’s my responsibility.”
Laylee reached for one of Wanda’s dishes after dinner.
“NO!! That’s my responsibility.”
You’d think I had never once or ten THOUSAND times told Wanda to clear her own place at the table. No. This was new news. Her teacher had given her a new trait. For October. And that trait, my fellow Americans, is a little thing we like to call RE-SPON-SI-BILITY!
Maybe if I had a teaching degree I would be qualified to give her traits. Maybe.
The older kids, of course, found this hilarious and sweet. When Laylee taught our Family Night lesson about keeping journals, she made sure to look at Wanda with a grave expression and say, “We need to write in our journals. It’s our… responsibility.”
Wanda perked right up and nodded solemnly. She is now on the journal train.
So I started praising every good thing Wanda did as evidence of how responsible she was. I even noticed Laylee do something good and I called her out.
“Look how responsible Laylee is being! Nice job!”
Wanda looked perplexed.
“Wait,” she said, “Laylee has traits too?!”
Yes. Yes she does. But she’s not in Mrs. Boogaloo’s first grade class! I wonder where she got them!?