We need to talk. There are some of you who do things/look at me/say things that creep me the freak out. Yes, that’s right. You’re younger, smaller, and more fragile than I am, however I’m still a little bit scared of you. Well, some of you.
Like you, cute little Kindergarten girl. You come to my class all put together and composed, dressed in the cutest, stylish outfits with the most precious hair clips. You’re capable of answering all of my questions and your comments are always so insightful. When we were drawing the human body using basic shapes like ovals and rectangles, you really got it. However, when you complained to me that your coloring hand wouldn’t stop scribbling over all your work, you creeped me the freak out. And then when I witnessed it for myself, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There you sat, orange crayon in hand, drawing yourself very well. And then, all of a sudden, your hand wildly started scribbling and you kept saying, “Make it stop, make it stop.” And when you hit yourself in the head, and it stopped, I desperately started searching my room for some holy water. At least we were able to get a picture drawn together, without the wild scribbling, when I instructed you to draw something and then told you to STOP. Draw the next thing, and STOP. But then, later, when I was going through the Kindergarten faces you all drew the week before, I was terrified all over again. You see, I had noticed that while you were able to draw your face very nicely, I also noticed that your eyes were violently scribbled out. Now, I’m no art therapist, but…
And how about you, little first grader? You sit there, staring at me with your Tony Goldwyn face, which creeps me the freak out. You don’t smile. You don’t laugh. You don’t find any amusement in me, your classmates or the work we do. You just sit there. All serious like, crisscrossed applesauce with your hands in your lap. Except when your chin is resting on your hand, but not in a tired, lazy kind of way. More in a critical, analytical kind of way. You never answer any questions, but you always know what’s going on. You have no tolerance for the silliness in the room. Sometimes I just want to take you by the shoulders, shake you, and say, “Lighten up kid! You’re six years old, not 46!” And yet, you are one of the best artists in the classroom. You know exactly what you want to do with the assignment, and you execute it perfectly. And also super freaky? Your classmates immediately recognize your work as your work.
And let’s not forget about you, silent sixth grader. In a class full of loud-mouthed, opinionated and outspoken sixth graders, you are silent. Eerily silent. I don’t think I’ve ever heard you speak. I have, however, seen you staring at me. Like, all the time, and guess what? That creeps me the freak out. You are always staring at me. Always. Even when I’m not talking and you’re supposed to be working. And you have the saddest eyes peeking out from behind your shiny curls. If someone told me to select a student who I thought might someday obsessively stalk me, you would be it. And yet, you are one of the best artists in the class. You are capable of planning and drawing in a way that I never could as a sixth grader. And your ideas are solid.
So in conclusion, creepy students, keep up the creep/freak factor. As much as it weirds me out, it will take you far in the art world. Trust me. Except for maybe you, little Kindergarten girl. You might need some medication and a good therapist.
Your art teacher.
8 thoughts on “Dear Students: We Need to Talk.”
Okay, seriously, I don't know if you are exaggerating at all about that little girl (I doubt it), but I would really be worried about her! Have you talked to her teacher? That's not normal behavior for small children. (Or maybe I have watched too many “Law & Order” episodes?)
This is absolutely hilarious!
I would be a little worried about that little kindergartner though.
Yes, the more I think about it, the more I am concerned about the Kindergartner. I'm pretty sure I learned somewhere that this type of behavior is a symptom of big issues. I just wish I could remember what it's a symptom of so I know how to proceed with it. Anyone know?
Schizophrenia? Possession? One vacation too many with the Torrences?
I have no idea.
Ack – Reading about all of them, I worry about all of them It's weird, but as an outsider, I think it's very easy to pick-up concerning behavior in kids.
It's especially true for art and gym classes at that age, at least in my opinion. Those are classes that kids are normally burning mental calories in. If they're consistently displaying tics or other abnormal behavior, it would seriously worry me.
Re: the kindergartner, scribbling out the eyes in people normally suggests detachment issues, IIRC. Do you have a school therapist or guidance counselor, or someone who deals with student behavior issues? It can't hurt to see if there is something going on at home. She's still young enough that with some intervention, there wouldn't be any lasting effects.
I would definitely talk to a school psychologist about the Kindergartner, at least to assure yourself you've followed up in case more bizarre behavior follows.
But in the meantime – I absolutely LOVE the cheeky way you write. You should write a children's book!
I'm not sure about that kindergartener (wow!), but the sixth grader may have Selective Mutism.
Thanks everyone! I'm really concerned about the girl and the potential for the cause being abuse. We're working on family portraits next art class, so I'm VERY interested to see what comes about from that. It's heartbreaking.