No, I Was Not Making Out With the Student Teacher on the Field Trip

Edward did not want to sit with me on the school bus; he wanted to sit with his friends instead.  This left me to find my own seat, and the only one that was available was next to the student teacher.  She was very nice, and we chatted during the bus ride about our lives, and our work.

In the middle of our conversation, a little head poked up from out of the seat behind us, and a little hand tapped the student teacher on the shoulder. “What are you talking about?” said the little voice that went with the little head.

“Well,” said my seat-mate, “we were talking about different kinds of things you can be when you grow up.” That was a good answer. It was true, and simple enough for a kindergartner to understand. This woman is going to be a good teacher someday.  The little girl, seemingly satisfied with this answer, sat back down as I resumed my conversation.

Three seconds later we were interrupted again by a second question. “Are you guys kissing?” she asked us, apparently very seriously.

“No, we’re not kissing. We’re just talking,” replied my companion, somehow able to keep a straight face while answering this question. Like I said, this college student is future teacher-of-the-year material.

This comment, along with the fact that I was wearing my “Dads Don’t Babysit” T-shirt, led us down another conversational path into the realms of gender roles and overall equality.  Why do we see a man and a woman together and assume that they must be romantically together?  How are men and women both limited by assumptions about gender roles and what we perceive to be “masculine”and “feminine?”  Can’t something be nurturing without being feminine? Can’t something be aggressive without being masculine?  I think so, and now a future teacher of our children thinks so too.

So thanks, five-year-old girl in the seat behind me, for assuming that I was making out with your student-teacher on a bus full of children.  It was a great segue into some important issues, and I’m glad for the conversation.

Posted in Edward, Field Trip, Gender, Parenting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.