One of the greatest characters ever created, in my humble opinion, is Madea by Tyler Perry. EVERYONE knows a Madea and benefited from having a “Madea” in their lives. Well, I know that I have “Madea” qualities (minus the profanity) but I did not realize just how much until I was on the playground with a little boy. Let me explain.
While taking my students out to the playground for recess, I overheard an exchange between a Paraprofessional and one of her young students.
“You need to behave _____. Keep your hands to yourself and stop being so mean to the other students.”
“Don’t you tell me what to do ‘B___h’! I do whatever I want. Nobody tell me what to do.”
Needless to say, this almost stopped me in my tracks but I had students to situate. Once my students and I finished our short calisthenics, I dismissed them to play on the equipment and proceeded to the area where this little boy was being so disrespectful.
“______! Don’t you speak to me that way. We do not use that language around here. You sit right here until recess is over. No play time for you.”
I stood quietly listening to what was happening and watched the body language of both adult and child. I spoke to the teacher.
“Mrs. ____. How long have you been teaching?”
“27 years Mrs. Gwyn. 27 years too long. To hear such language come out of the mouth of babes.”
I looked over at the little boy and saw that he had taken off his shoe. The teacher asked him why he had taken off his shoe.
“I’m gonna beat the black off you with it ‘B___h!”
Before I knew it, I was kneeling down in front of the young boy smiling. I spoke softly to the young man.
“Why are you being so hateful to your teacher? What did she do to make you so angry.”
“B___h! Get out of my face.”
I leaned in closer to the young man. Taking the shoe out of his hand, I whispered into his ear.
“Why are you talking like that? Who taught you to talk like this.?”
“That’s how my daddy talks to my Mamma and she does what he wants. When she don’t do what he say, he hit her. I’m gonna hit you with my shoe cause I want you to leave me the ‘f___k’ alone.”
TOTALLY DONE! I told the young man to stand up. He looked at me still sitting. I knelt back down and spoke to him softly.
“Do you know who Madea is?”
“If you don’t get up, I’m going Madea on yo’ butt, now MOVE!”
The boy got up quickly. I asked his teacher could he spend some time with my class and she agreed. Some good old fashion exercise wore him out. Needless to say, whenever he gave the teacher ANY trouble, she would ask him, “Do you want me to get Mrs. Gwyn?” The response was a quick “NO. I’ll be good.”
I just love me some Madea!!!