Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Hip and Lip

I ate lunch with Abigail last week. I love going in the school. Sometimes I feel a little bit like a stalker, because I'm trying to memorize everyone I see so I can ask Abigail if she knows them. I try to read every single sign or paper to see what is going on, and what they are doing there. It is the weirdest feeling to have my child going to a place for 7 hours a day, and I'm not there. I don't get to watch her. To correct her. To help her. Okay, it's a good thing I'm not there, but I want to know everything. Especially because she is not one to tell me the details. Or the big picture. Or pretty much anything at all. She said she doesn't want to talk about it!


Anyway, I am really going off on a tangent. I meant to just say that I was surprised when I stood in the hallways and just about every kid that walked by was doing this:

I had Abigail pose it for you. I was wondering why they were all doing it, until one of the hall walkers started waving his arms around- the nearest adult quickly shouted "Hey- Hip and Lip"! The kid immediately assumed the position.

On one hand, I thought it was brilliant- it gave the kids something to do with each of their hands, and everwhere you looked there were kids reminding you (and each other) to be quiet in the halls. I am sure that with all those kids, keeping order is quite a challenge.

On the other hand, I thought it was pathetic. I hated seeing all those kids doing the exact same thing. It rubs me the wrong way. It was almost insulting to feel like I was being 'shushed' all the time, and I wonder what it feels like to see that all day, every day.

And it sort of becomes an example of the school system itself. There are so many brilliant, wonderful things about it. I think it is awesome. There are also so many problems and issues and horrible things. I love it and I hate it.

Sometimes I wonder how I will work out those conflicting feelings.

When I started this post, I was going to write about the cute and funny Hip and Lip, and somehow it turned into a commentary on the public shool system. Whatever!

6 comments:

Melinda said...

that is funny--I've never seen that.

ali said...

you and I are so similar! I have very similarly conflicting feelings about my kids' schools...

thetallgrl said...

In my daughter's class it's "hands behind your back, bubbles in your mouth, and marshmallow feet!" So they walk around with their cheeks blown out like they've got the mumps.

Kevin & Rebecca said...

All I know is Abigail looks cute as can be in her hip & lip pose. I always have conflicting feelings about school things too. And like thetallgirl, our kids have bubbles in their mouths. It's hilarious to see the line of kids with their cheeks puffed out.

Lisa L. said...

I told you this when we talked, but I'll say it again. I think hip and lip is really dumb. Teachers at my school did it (only with hands raised instead of on their hip). You have to have things to keep management of your class, but at the same time, it can be done without making them look like fools. Little kids do need more "reminders" than others - but why not just let them fold their arms. Then their hands are "busy". I had older kids so I told them they could have their hands by their sides, in pockets or folded. And I told them if someone talked to them, that they could give the talker a silent reminder by putting their finger to their lip (without saying "SHHHH" which is often louder than the person talking). But that was all. And I've taught younger kids the same thing and it worked fine. Sometimes I think we teachers need to take a minute and think about what we are asking the kids to do. Some things are needed for management, but I really think teachers get too caught up in the cute stuff and don't think about what they are asking. Does the kid really need to walk around all.the.time with their finger on their mouth? It's not like it stops kids who really want to talk.
Just my thoughts...

TheVillamorFamily said...

it is probably not just one teacher's idea but the principal...i know our school does things just b/c the principal enforces them. Nate had a really, really hard start this year because he had so many teachers telling him he couldn't talk! They can't talk in the hall, in the room, in the lunchroom, etc. he was coming home so frustrated and confused everyday! He finally figured it out but I was so sad for him!

welcome to many confusing and complicated public school system rules!