A few weeks ago the following conversation happened at kindergarten pick-up:
Me: So I saw that the kids in our kindergarten class came home with a note saying they were going to be “focusing on behavior self reflection” by filling out a “self performance review” in order to “develop solid learning strategies.” None of the other kindergarten classes are doing that. I wonder what happened…
Mom 1: Judging from the other day, Kevin* has developed pied-piper-like abilities so classroom management is especially challenging.
Dad 1: Kevin… Is he the kid that kept smacking himself in the face with slices of pizza at that birthday party?
Six parents in unison: Yes.
Mom 2: So he’s riling everyone else up.
Mom 1, nodding: The class is Kevin-ing.
So a kid’s been verbed. Part of me feels weird about that because labeling little kids (you’re the DISRUPTIVE one) especially at such a young age seems like it’s creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Another part of me wonders if this is just an inevitable shorthand method of communication between parents who don’t know each other’s children as whole individuals yet. We acknowledge our first impressions of the kids in conversation because what else can we acknowledge? We know about Kevin’s propensity for pizza prop comedy. We don’t know about any of his other many attributes so we can’t talk about his love of dog grooming and minecraft.
Kevin’s being pigeon holed but not permanently or maliciously. At least I hope not.
::: Sigh :::
Life is complicated. Even when it comes to seemingly uncomplicated things like making small talk at kindergarten pick up.
I hope for Kevin’s sake that he hasn’t been indelibly tagged. And I hope for the sake of the teacher’s sanity that kindergarten “self performance reviews” actually work.
*Name and identifying details have been changed.