Reporting vs. Tattling for the Little People

Look at this great sign that I found on Pinterest:

Source: via Julie on Pinterest 
Isn't this fantastic?  And boy, do my Little People need to read this.  In fact, I might just teach them all to read early, just so they can read and process this information.  Or, I suppose that I can just do my best to teach it to them anyway.  Because our classroom lately is just a swarm of complaints and tattling. 

These are the most common complaints that I am hearing these days:

What I hear: "Teacher, teacher, teacher, teacher..."
Me:  Yes, Sally.
Sally:  (in a whiny and pseudo-tearful voice) Teacher, I was lining up, and Suzie was behind me, but now Jenny is behind me!
Me:  Sally, you can not be in charge of who is behind you.  All you can be in charge of is where you are in line, and you can talk to people who cut in front of you.  It's not cutting if people change places behind you.

What I hear: Teacher, teacher, teacher -  Suzie said she's not my friend anymore.
To which I respond (loud enough for Suzie to hear): "Oh, Suzie must have forgotten how it hurts your feelings to hear that.  Why don't you tell Suzie how you don't like it when she says that."

What I hear: Teacher, teacher, teacher - Stevie said that I'm not hot lunch today, but I am hot lunch today.
To which I respond: You are the one who knows whether you are hot lunch or not.  Is Stevie wrong about whether you are hot lunch?
Student: Yes, because I am hot lunch.
Me: Then don't worry about what Stevie says.

What I hear: Teacher, teacher, teacher - Bobby says that I'm sitting on the green row, but I sit on the blue row!
To this I respond: Well, do you sit on the green row?
Student: No.
Me:  Then don't worry about what Bobby says.  Besides, I think Bobby just had a brain fog about which color your row is.
What I really want to say: Um, sweetie, I'm pretty sure that Bobby still doesn't know which color is blue and which is green, so pay no attention to that.  (Actually, I'm beginning to suspect that Bobby is color blind.)

What I hear: Teacher, teacher, teacher - Jonny pushed me with his foot when he sat down on the carpet.
Jonny - I said I was sorry already.
To which I respond: Oh, it looks like you don't need my help for that problem.  Jonny accidentally pushed you with his foot, but then he said he was sorry.  You don't even need to tell me about that problem at all.

I think that instead of all of these responses that take a huge amount of patience and careful wording, I will show them this chart (perhaps in a picture form) and then from then on respond to their complaints by referring to the chart:

Are you trying to keep someone safe?
Do you need a grownup to help solve this problem?
Is what happened an accident?
Is what happened important? 
Is someone in danger?  Is someone sick? 

If the answer is no, then I will ask them to try to solve it themselves.

Now to work on the picture version.  Perhaps a flow chart would work...

AnneS –   – (23 February 2012 at 16:29)  

I think your Little People have cousin tattlers in West Virginia! Mine have been doing the same thing lately---must be the lack of snow days this year! They are driving us all crazy. Our response is usually, "Unless someone is bleeding or property is being damgaged, we don't want to hear about it." It's going to be a LONG spring!

Holly  – (24 February 2012 at 06:50)  

I need this sign in my house!! And my people aren't even so little anymore...

Post a Comment

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by 2009

Back to TOP