A few years ago, while on a tour of the Grand Canyon Caverns in Arizona, my homeschooled daughter did something rather unusual. She raised her hand in order to get the guide’s attention and ask a question. For someone who has never stepped foot inside of a school, this was unusual. But because she noticed that it worked, and the guide called on her, she began to do it regularly when we were talking and she had something to say or a question to ask. To this day she still does it.
Now last week we went off to the Johnson County Museum to learn about the role of community – what do police, the fire department, doctors and more do? How do the impact our lives and our community?
Unfortunately we were paired with an Attila the Hun of hand-raising. This woman was off the hook insane about having the kids raise their hands. Before her sat maybe eight children, max. They were all homeschoolers and nearly all completely unfamiliar with the concept of a) raising their hand for permission to speak and b) not clear on the waiting part (raise your hand, wait for her to call on you and THEN talk).
They weren’t loud. They weren’t boisterous or misbehaving. They were all very good kids. Believe me, that Zentangle class I taught last semester had far worse behaving children in it. These kids were great, despite the woman’s behavior.
If she said “Remember you need to raise your hand and wait for me to call on you” less than 20 times in 15 minutes I’m a monkey’s uncle. She said it so many doggone times I was tempted to say out loud, “For crying out loud, stop beating a dead horse and just get on with the lesson already!”
All I could think was that it was people like her that were the reason I wanted to homeschool in the first place and here we were having to endure her all the same.
My daughter was quick to tow the line, and so were several others, but the rest were happily unaware of the restrictions they were being faced with. All I could think as I sat there, tempted to take my child and LEAVE was that raising one’s hand is NOT a requirement for adulthood, that children can and will learn naturally how conversations work and how to positively participate in them, and that this woman was absolutely and completely clueless that control and repetitive commands ad nauseum were irritating to EVERYONE.
The short class ended mercifully quickly, with an art project and only ten or fifteen repetitions of “now remember that you must not run through the exhibits and ALWAYS stay with your parents” before we escaped the boorish creature.
The museum, by the way, is FABULOUS. Guaranteed your kids will love it!