Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Word of the Day Wednesday

Sycophant (noun):
a person who uses flattery to win favor from individuals;wielding influence; toady.


Part of my 6th graders' daily morning work is to define a curriculum mandated vocabulary word.  Today's word stuck with me for a multitude of reasons.  

First of all, at their first chalkboard glance my kids pronounced the Word of the Day (WOD) "psycho pants" (and for those of you who may be unfamiliar with this term as I was prior to this week, it is actually pronounced "sic-e-fent.")
Imagine the giggles this particular pronunciation conjured up. It was one of those times not even I could hide my laughter.  

Secondly, as we learned the definition of the WOD, examples seemed to pop up with unbelievable frequency.

Example A:  
Thanks, Karla, for giving us all the perfect representation to study our new vocabulary word. 

Example B:
Just as a class of kindergartners were getting praised by the principal for being so silent and orderly in the hallway, a little boy toward the front of the line jumped out of place to reach out to me and confess "YOU are beauuuutiful." (I was beyond flattered by his five year old charm. His teacher was less than impressed. Oh and the principal bit her tongue for praising too soon.)

Example C:
K: "Ms. Y you are so pretty. Like, so so pretty."
Me: Thanks K, you are too.
K: I know. Can I go sit with my BFF KB now? 
Me: Um no. Just because you are a sycophant does not mean you will take advantage with me. Go sit in your seat.

The sad thing is, my last sycophantical example came from my peers. You know those few classmates that just can't seem to get their heads up their teachers' butts far enough? I have three words for these people: Get A Life. 
No one really likes, nor wants to listen to a sycophant, and if you are still a sycophant at age 21 I'd give my 6th graders the approval to call you a "psycho pants." Because you're annoying and a little bit crazy. And we all get by without being a "suck up" as my students use synonymously with their new vocabulary word. So stop. 

Happy Wednesday! 

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