The Eff Word

Yep. THAT eff word. The queen mother of all curse words.

I have a little human in my classroom this year who has some, well, some issues. He is very sensitive to sounds and wears headphones most of the day.

When he is dysregulated, he often yells out a phrase that includes the eff word. This was a new development for him this year. It’s puzzling and we usually escort him from the room. Ignoring him seems to escalate the eff bombing.

He does use the eff bomb in appropriate context. For example, one day I sneezed a terrible sneeze and he yelled out, ‘you effing sl*t’.

Another day, a student coughed a horrible cough and he yelled out, ‘you little effer’.

And so on. And so on. And so on.

I just look at him. He always knows after he has said it that he should not have used ‘those farmer words’–that is what he calls the bad words.

We have been working on other ways to let someone know he needs something. Last week I hear, ‘OH NO. Don’t let the teacher see that!’

I am at the small group table and I side eye him. He has his hands on his math journal covering something up. He repeats his first phrase again.

This time I mosey on over to his space and ask if he needs anything. Nope. Nope. Still not moving his hands.

‘Would now be a good time for me to look at your math journal?’

‘Mmmmmm. Yes.’ Still not moving his hands. So I check out his math journal. I thank him for showing me what he knows.

‘Is there anything else I need to see?’

‘Well. Um. Yes. I wrote a bad word. BUT I ERASED IT.’

I almost say out loud–‘what did you write…’ but I regain my brain and stop before it shoots out of my mouth. Instead I say, ‘Could you move your hands so I can see what you wrote?’ A small victory occurs when he complies.

He has, indeed, written the eff word. And he has erased it. I look at him. I look at his paper. And I use my purple smelly marker to make a very large star right over the top of that erased eff word.

He lets out his breath and gives me a small smile. I whisper in his ear to thank him for WRITING the eff word instead of blurting it out.

I am counting this as a win. #justsayin’


3 thoughts on “The Eff Word

  1. The #justsayin’ hashtag has a certain irony, doesn’t it? Love this, especially “I regain my brain before it shoots out of my mouth.”💖

  2. “Farmer words” – I love it! I have a child in my class this year who loves that same word. He says it and writes it, along with other inappropriate things. Struggling to figure out how to convince him to save those words for home. I love how you handled the erased word. Definitely a win!

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