Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Teaching friendship. Teaching love.
I don't know about y'all, but I am BIG on teaching my kids how to use their words and work out their issues with one another...sans teacher involvement...whenever possible. When there is drama on the playground and my little ones come rushing over, I always issue the question "Have you tried using your words to work this out with your friend yet?" This question is usually met with the quick action of darting back to the slide where someone impulsively put a piece of mulch on the slide or something else that is so hugely disrupting to said concerned firstie.
However, our biggest, most important cardinal classroom rule is to be nice. In fact, it really bothers me at the core when I see kids being mean to one another. After all, my little ones will be learning together as one-big-happy-family for the entirety of their elementary education as students on a single track! This brings me to sharing my absolute favorite "punishment" for accidental (because we all know that it's always an "accident") negativity-- "Best Friends for the Day."
If students are asked to be "Best Friends for the Day" then it is expected that they will have the pleasure of eating lunch together, playing together, sharing stories and books together, and well....spending quality time together.
All. Day. Long.
The notion of "Best Friends for the Day" of course happens after we have talked about what things we regret doing or saying and how we can make a better choice next time. I find that this pre-"punishment" discussion is important because by this point it usually gets my little ones excited to spend the day and make up with their new best friend!
How do you teach your kids to be kind to others...even when someone is hurtful to you first? This lesson is constant, and a skill that our world (myself definitely included) so desperately needs to learn and re-learn everyday!