I substituted for a third grade class today. We had two bloody noses and four students crying (they took turns) and a stapled finger. The Friday before one of the students went home early for stitches in a finger. He came today with a large purple wrap that covered most of his finger.
I really did watch them and work with them. I have only had one student cry before today and that was a junior high boy faced with suspension. There must be something in the weather. I mentioned it to a fourth grade teacher at lunch and she said it was typical of third graders. I didn’t realize that was an issue.
So why would third graders be so emotional? Is it because they are transitioning from concrete operations stage (Piaget’s theories of learning) to a higher level where they can speculate more and try to understand others’ intentions. About this age they begin to grasp that others may think about them. This is different from the teenagers who thinks everyone is thinking about them. It’s the beginning to understand, that just because I know something doesn’t mean that others know it as well.
I managed to keep my fingers intact and my nose unbloodied, though I do wonder what kind of stories those parents will hear tonight about their student’s substitute teacher…