Saturday, April 25, 2009

Whatcha Gonna Do?

It's really a rhetorical question. I never realized I asked it so much until I heard it come back to me through the mouth of my daughter. I reserve it for times when my kids are complaining. (Sometimes whining, truth be told) I use it: a) when there is nothing they can do about the situation, or b) when they don't intend on doing anything about the situation. Here are a few handy examples:
kid: Man, I can't believe Mr. B gave us so much homework.
Mom: Whatcha gonna do?
kid: Dad said that referee was blind!
Mom: Whatcha gonna do?
kid: I wish I didn't have to do chores.
Mom: Whatcha gonna do?
It works well. You should try it on your own children, students, colleagues, or significant others.
I am trying to teach my children that complaining just uses precious energy, makes you feel worse about the situation, and generally gets you nowhere. There are instances when something can be done about the situation, and then I guide them in doing just that. More often than not, however, they are just being negative.
How 'bout that CRCT? It's mandatory. There is nothing we can do about it. We have to administer it, even to our first graders. (Have I mentioned that I proctored the math portion for first grade? That's another post.) The only thing we can do is teach our students well, make it the most positive experience possible, and when someone begins complaining about it, ask them, "Whatcah gonna do?"