I'm pretty sure this year is going to be one of those years. The kind of year when you can't give them an inch. The kind of year where you can't turn your back for a second. It's not that they are "naughty", they're just suffering from a case of "the wiggles". They are very young, talkative, competitive and edgy, and they are tattlers. I'm pretty patient about most things, but the tattling? It puts me over the edge.
"Mrs. Teacher, Timmy called me poo poo head."
"Mrs. Teacher, Suzie dropped her pencil."
"Mrs. Teacher, Prudence has wood chips in her pocket."
"Mrs. Teacher, Fred picked his nose and ate it."
I sat them all down the other day and gave them the "tattle talk." We talked about when it's okay to tell and when it's just telling to get someone into trouble.
Someone is standing on a table? Tell.
Someone punching you? Tell.
Someone choking, bleeding, throwing up? Tell.
Picking nose? Tattling.
Woodchips in pocket? Tattling.
Timmy is a poo poo head? Definitely Tattling.
They seemed to get it. I was sure they got it. But here we are Tuesday, Week 3 and they are right back at it. So I had to break out "The Tattle Jar."
What is the The Tattle Jar you ask?
Well, it's a big plastic jar. You know, like the kind pretzels come in at B.J.'s or Costco. I have a cute little label on it and I leave it on a shelf within reach of even the shortest of my kids.
When someone comes to me to tattle I ask, "Is someone hurting you?"" Is someone doing something dangerous?" "Does someone need an ambulance???". If they answer "no" to any of those questions I simply hold up my hand and say, "Tattle Jar."
That's where the tattles go.
They put their little faces into the jar and tell their tattles there.
I told them, (and you can only get away with this kind of stuff in kindergarten) "after everyone goes home and it's really quiet in the room I put my ear in the jar and I can hear all your tattles."
I don't know why it works, but it does, and eventually I don't even have to question them, they just automatically go to The Jar.
I really should market these. Find a need and fill it. I could make a fortune. I could retire early. But then who would be there to stick their ear in the jar and listen. Just listen.