One of the great things about kids is the fact that they can hang out with another kid for five minutes and suddenly be the best of friends. This is, or rather was the case for two little girlie girls in my class. They sat together in the circle on the first day of school and have been inseparable ever since. But just like in a family when people spend too much time together little irritating things start to creep in. You love each other just the same, but those little things that you love one day can be like a thorn in your side on others.
I could tell things were not good today between "Lucy and Ethel". They were bickering and arguing from the time they walked in to the room this morning, to lunch and recess, to dismissal. The tattling on each other was relentless and at one point it even got a little physical.
"Lucy" has a way of saying just the right thing to get "Ethel" to seethe. I could see the level of frustration growing in Ethel until I turned just at the right time and saw her get right up into Lucy's face and FLIP HER THE MIDDLE FINGER.
My jaw dropped. I dropped the pencil I was holding in my hand. I stood frozen, and then I reacted.
"Ethel, I think you need to come with me."
I took her hand and calmly walked her to the office sat her down in the chair and let our principal know about the offending obscene gesture.
So off I went back to my classroom.
About 20 minutes or so later we were cleaning up for lunch and Mrs. Principal came in with Ethel in tow. She was chuckling to herself while we both watched Ethel walk up to Lucy to offer the most sincere apology she could manage.
I looked at Mrs. Principal and said, "okay, what's so funny."
Laughing she said, "Well, I told her that it was a really nasty thing to do, that it is really really insulting and disrespectful and she should never do it again."
"I asked her where she learned to do that."
She said, "My teacher taught it to me."
I looked at Mrs. Principal and said, "and I suppose you want to see the lesson plan?"