Friday, November 2, 2007

censorship

The Mr. likes to talk about my censorship. he jokes & gives me a hard time for censoring books I would read to my students. but it's not that i censor them, exactly. i just make them, um, more... dealable.
i don't think there are books that shouldn't be written & stuff. i don't think we should take harry potter off the shelves.

i started thinking of this post at halloween, b/c that's one time i could prove myself right. lemme give you a little background.

he makes fun of me & loves to know when i'll read Charlotte's Web to the kids each year. for anyone who knows me, i don't deal well w/ certain types of body humor, or issues. and the way i see it: the less you have to deal w/ grossed out 6 year olds who think that crap is funny, the better!
so, for those of you who haven't read this book in ages, let me enlighten you a little. Wilbur lives in a manure pile. only, in my class, he lives in a mud pile.
i don't see what the big deal is, but The Mr. sure does like to harass me about it.

mud is just as squishy, cold, and dirty as manure. but less gross. and i'm quite sure there are plenty of pigs out there who live in a mud pile. i'm just changing HIS location. (i don't say he lives in a pretty pen w/ a bed of hay).
here's the reason. picture if you will, a group of, say, 21 6 year olds. 2 of 'em are probly picking their nose by this point. how 'bout make, oh.... 14 of them boys.
now, go ahead and read: wilbur lives in a manure pile. .... "what's manure????"
do you REALLY wanna explain that to this class? do you really want 21 6 year olds saying "eeeeeewwwww grosss!!!!!!!" and then giggle b/c their teacher just taught them a fancy word for poops? I DIDN'T.

they could look it up or discuss it w/ their parents b/c i gave each of them the book for an end of the year gift.

ok. now, for the reason i thought of this post to begin with:

i had a student about 4 years ago whose mom was a little off. she came to me day 1 and told me her child wouldn't do anything, and that she's bipolar, (but they wouldn't diagnose her b/c she wasn't 7 yet) and blahblahblah all these things.

that year, i had a parapro (teacher's aide) who was pretty much opposite me, she wasn't going to censor anything... she is a gruff tellitlikeitis kinda lady who's had 2 of her own children. so, i guess she just said the same things to the students that she'd say to her own. i would cringe when she would say "hiney". me? i always said "bottom". in a world where "stupid" & "shut-up" are bad words (both the S-word, mind you) i'm fairly confident that "bottom" is probably the word they're used to at home.

anyhow....
there is a series of books about a character named Froggy. It always has some repetition in each of the books, and they're pretty cute. tho' slightly inappropriate at times, but i didn't censor the Froggy Gets Dressed, where at the end of the book, he stands there naked and blushing. (giggle giggle.... ).

i didn't own the halloween book. but Mrs. C did. and she read it to the kids, and they loved it. oh how they loved the chorus:
trick or treat, smell my feet
give me something good to eat [that woulda been where i stopped]
if you don't, i don't care
i'll show you my underwear!
?? leave it to that one student's mom to write me a pretty rough note demanding to know why we would teach her child that song. it took some clearing up, i tellya.
need i say more????
so, sometimes, censorship just saves time and energy!

5 comments:

Funky Boss said...

I understand your situation.

Due to a questionable "legal misunderstanding" that led to an "enforced volunteer program" at the local library, I used to read books for Story Time.

You should have seen the horrified looks from the parents whilst reading "Frog and Toad are More Than Just Friends" and "The Berenstain Bears and the Spousal Abuse Problem".

I wish I had the foresight to censor specific themes and context contained throughout these books as you did.

Well done.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

I completely understand! I used to censor stuff, especially potty humor because the kids would get out of control after hearing about poop or underwear or tinkle! It was just easier to keep their attention with a little censoring!

Swistle said...

As the mother of a 6-year-old boy, I sure appreciate censoring of this sort.

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

I agree. Minor censorship didn't hurt anyone. Of course, I'd get in trouble for spouting facts in history class...

Pregnantly Plump said...

I don't see anything wrong with leaving out phrases or words that would make the kids go wild.