Northerner In Nashville

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 17 2012

Meet My Honey Boo Boo

That girl? She ain’t got nothing on my Honey Boo Boo.

While I do admit to my fair share of junk television watching, my knowledge of Honey Boo Boo is limited to snippets and clips that I catch online. One of my favorite clips, however, has been watching her catchphrase “A dolla make me holla”

Holla? A dolla doesn’t just make him holla. It makes him kick, scream, cry, and threaten others. BOOM – more bang for your buck, right?

My Honey Boo Boo is also famous. Well, at least at my school. Like Honey Boo Boo, he loooves attention and it really doesn’t seem to matter how he acquires it. For a while, he got it by simply not talking. That method only worked for so long. Then, he turned to theatrics.

My Honey Boo Boo loves him some sugar. Yes he does. He brings a snack or dollar to buy a treat essentially every day. The last few days, it’s been a dollar to get a snack at lunch. Except he drops it at our morning meeting and doesn’t retrieve it. I do. I’ve taken to retrieving it myself and making him earn it back. We’re still working on determining how frequently he needs rewards. Friday, without the support of my beloved co-teacher and without his parent coming to fetch him from school, it was a pretty immediate 1-1 ratio of following a direction to a treat. At this rate, he’ll be as lard-a-licious as the real Honey Boo Boo by Christmas.

So why was he supposed to be picked up?

Honey Boo Boo was in fine form. We even had a visit from unannounced observers (that’s another post in itself) and he managed to call attention to himself. He pulled every trick out of the book it felt like: picking fights, rifling through supplies, jumping off desks. I called for assistance and a member of the school leadership team came in. I appreciate it – that rarely happened in previous years. But she had places to go and work to do and left after a while.

I’ve been trying to train my students to ignore Honey Boo Boo. As if that’s really possible. Regardless, it can cause Honey Boo Boo to try even harder to get more attention. In this case, he stands on the desk and yells “You’re gay!” right at me.

Now, calling someone gay is a hard limit in my classroom. It isn’t done. Period. Unfortunately, it’s happened every year that I’ve been in the classroom. Sometimes the word chosen is different. Regardless of the word choice, the students don’t really understand what it means. In all honesty, that’s the approach that I take with them in the conversation. With my 4th graders, we talked about the history and meaning of the word faggot. With my first graders, it’s more about how it’s not a bad word but when you say it in a certain way, your tone tells people that it’s an insult.

So here’s Honey Boo Boo, standing on top of the desk for the second time today, yelling repeatedly, “you’re gay! You’re gay” Breathing deep, I addressed the class and said “it’s really sad that he doesn’t remember our conversation about what that word means.” Most of the class just smiled at me, nodded in agreement, and went back to work.

Well Honey Boo Boo was NOT having that. Not one bit. He squinted his eyes and yelled, “I know what it means. It means you SUCK DICK.”

Uh, say what? I decided this was one of those rare “non-teaching” moments.

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    a 2010 CM’s experiences

    Elementary School
    Elementary Education

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