There are a handful of boys in my classroom this year who have older brothers; brothers who are pre/early teens. I had a professor in college who always said that preteens needed to be sent away to the desert until they started high school. I'd like to send these big brothers to the desert. Second graders are still fairly innocent. Every so often a "curse" word like "damn" or "pissed" will be blurted out, but overall most still gasp if "stupid" is uttered in front of them. This group of little brothers are turning my classroom into a 7th grade locker room, and I have a feeling their older brothers are to blame.
The most recent incident...My kids were working on various assignments one afternoon last week - working, talking, basically taking it easy after a rigorous day of testing. It's always kind of funny listening to them talk to each other. I worked on some end of year paperwork at my desk and smirked as I vaguely listened. That's when I heard one of the "little brothers" make a request to one of the sweetest, most innocent boys (this was the boy who asked me how many more days until Christmas every day in the month of December), "Hey Carlos, say the letter 'x' five times really fast." It took a very quick moment to process the directive (take a moment if you'd like) and then I called across the room, "No, don't do it Carlos!" Carlos wouldn't have had any idea what he was saying, but he would have been the butt of a joke that even the jokesters didn't really understand. Yes , it makes me laugh. When I shared the story with colleagues or friends, they laughed. But really, it makes me a little bit sad that these tiny seven year olds aren't as innocent as they should be because of those pesky older brothers. If the desert isn't an option, I think they shouldn't be allowed to talk to their little brothers about anything lame like 5 Xs or the PEN15 club (take another moment if needed) or anything else that makes a 13 year old boy laugh. Because it’s not THAT funny.