Holly Shannon, M.A.T., Elementary School Teacher

A Bad Word?

I love that children still have the innocence we often think they’ve lost. This morning, a sweet little girl in my class walked up to me, quite worried with a complaint.  “Miss Shannon, he said a bad word,” she muttered, pointing to another child in our class. I calmly asked what letter the word started with. When she replied, “S” my eyebrows rose. Hmmmm. “What’s my next move?” I thought to myself. Well, this certainly isn’t new. After teaching for 7 years, I’m very aware that children pick up words at home, on TV. or anywhere, and sometimes try them out to see others’ reactions.  Luckily, only twice in my years of teaching have I really heard a true “bad” swear word.


After asking the little girl what the “bad” word started with, and her response being ‘S,’ I was of course, curious. In her best first grade, phonetic spelling, I started to see the word, s-t-o-o-p being spelled.  I smiled and replied “Thank you, honey. Why don’t you give him an ‘I Message’ and tell him you feel bad hearing those words around you.”


Every time I think of this conversation, I light up inside. Imagine, thinking ‘stupid’ is a swear word…..this is the world I would love children to stay in forever!

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