First graders are precious.
Every day, my students take their own attendance. It takes the first graders a little while to find their name on the chart, trace over to the correct day, and make an "X." They're getting faster, but it's still a bit more of a process than I'd like.
They're allowed to talk quietly while waiting their turn.
Yesterday, they were busily marking Xs and quietly chattering about... who knows. First grade things. I was arranging things for the day's lesson.
Suddenly, I hear "Asshole. Asshole. Asshole."
It was directed at no one in particular, and was coming from a nice, sweet, non-swearing kind of kid. He's also a strong Yup'ik speaker, and not as fluent in English, so I thought it a possibility that he just had no idea what he was saying.
I walked over and asked, "What did you say, student?"
"Asshole," he replied. Or so I thought. He was saying it funny. It actually sounded more like "Essole."
So I asked for clarification. "Essole," he repeated.
Then he pointed at my flashlight, which I keep close by because the power goes out semi-regularly and my classroom has no windows. It had "ESL" written on the side in permanent marker.
First graders are just learning to sound out words around this time of the year. He was quite proud of himself. "Essole!"
I had to think of a way to at the same time congratulate him on his great word-detective skills and also inform him that it kind of sounded like he was swearing at someone.
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