Friday, September 18, 2009

Some will say that grownups are just big kids. I say they are grownups and they should, therefore, grow up.

I’m tired of excusing away bad behavior on the part of grownups.  Particularly in regards to tattling.  You’d think there would be that magical moment, ideally in elementary school, when people realize that they shouldn’t tattle on others.   Is it really earth shatteringly important for me to know that Ms. So and So was 2 minutes late? 

One of my PE teachers has adopted a policy of saying, “Tattle tale time is after 4 p.m.”  4 p.m. is after all the kids have gone home.  I wonder what the teachers would think if I just didn’t listen to them and all their supposedly innocent slips of information.  “Oops.  I didn’t mean to tell you about how Ms. So and So took the kids outside to clean the animal cages during Math time.  Math time!  Can you believe it?!” 

Ironically, when I was teaching middle school, I remember being amazed that older students would still tattle on others.  And by tattle, I don’t mean they’d tell me about the class bully trying to shove their head into the toilet during break but things like, “She is looking at me.” 

In an effort to cure my middle school kids of all their tattling, I developed worksheet for them to complete if they needed to tell me about something.  Especially if we were in the middle of a lesson or group work. I worked hard to teach them the difference.

For instance, I wanted to know if Susie was making herself puke in the bathroom after lunch.  I didn’t want to know that Johnny passed a note to puking Susie.  I wanted to know if Horace had his glasses broken by Butch.  I didn’t want to know if Horace hid his glasses in his pocket during lunch though who could blame him for not wanting to look at the lunchroom food.  It boiled down to a simple rule. If life, limb and/or feelings were at stake, come tell me.

The worksheet had about 20 questions for them to complete.  Things like describe the weather, what is one thing you learned in your last class, what do you wish were on the lunch menu, and so on.  The last question was, “What did you want to tell me?” 

I’ve thought about pulling that sheet out for my teachers.  Either that or posting a sign announcing, “Tattletales accepted after 4 p.m.” 

Anyone want to join me for a nice run at 3:59 p.m?

25 comments:

dizzblnd said...

It's like that everywhere you go too. At work.. where there are supposedly adult women the tattling is abundant.

I think the worksheet and/or sign is a great idea for your teachers. They may think it doesn't apply to them until the fist time you point at it when they are spilling the beans, but eventually, they'll get the hint and word will spread.

If I am off work, I will be glad to join you on your (duck) and run

A Mom on Spin said...

That sheet was ingenious! I just may steal that idea, for my grown-up church workers!

The Peach Tart said...

The sheet is a great idea. I'm gonna steal it too.

mo.stoneskin said...

Crumbs, I'm sure as hell glad there were no tattle rules when I was at school. I was a goody-two-shoes who loved nothing more than grassing on people.

'Miss, they're singing naughty songs again.'

LucyCooper said...

My son is starting to tattle. Ick. granted, he's Six, but it's a habit I want to squelch quickly. Home worksheet!

only a movie said...

Ooooh, I like that one. But having the kids write out the answer instead of telling might be enough for my reluctant writers.

xxoo - good luck, Beth.

P.S., sometimes we go out for recess during Math time. Can you imagine?

P.P.S. Today, it might be recess all day in my classroom, since I am home with a sick kid. Ha.

shhhhh, don't tell.

Mango Girl said...

I love the rule: no tattling until 4 p.m. Genius.

smiles4u said...

That worksheet is a fantastic idea! I think you should have a sign and worksheet for these adult tattle tellers.

TechnoBabe said...

Yep, adults express jealousy, fear, immaturity, and many of the traits they are attempting to help children outgrow and leave behind. Not all children learn healthy, mature behavior and unfortunately, those children grow up and some become teachers. We all see this in our jobs. In your position, however, it would be even more annoying I think since you are the recipient of all the yuck. Have a good run.

Jan said...

We have a 60-year-old man at our office who tattles CONSTANTLY - and it's usually about me. He thinks the only reason I have my job is because I'm Married To The Boss (which shows you just how well he does NOT know the man he works for).

"Jan was playing solitaire again!" is a good one; he neglected to mention he found out after barging into my office when the door was CLOSED (a BIG no-no in our company) and I was on hold with some state government, trying to get some tax issue worked out.

I wish I could say that's the only time something like that has happened...and it's a good thing he didn't catch me playing Portal or Spore. :P

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

Yeah, the last line on your worksheet for teachers, for accuracy's sake, should read,

"I really don't like to make waves, but ____________________."

sun lover said...

Wish I could join you for a run. Maybe it would improve my mood. Your comment made me laugh and that is something that I haven't done all day. The Assistant Superintendent of our school system just died of a heat attack this morning at 3am...he was 51! It is a sad sad day in the Midwest!

Kristina P. said...

I HATE tattling. And why can't adults just be adults?

Ms. Case said...

Why stop at making the worksheet for teachers, let's do it for everyone! We can make a national tattle tailing sheet that is found at every city office or online at every cities web page.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Run, Beth. See Beth run. See Beth run as fast as she can.

otin said...

In my line of work, tattling may result with someone getting hit! LMAO! We don't have too many tattling problems.

Captain Dumbass said...

The last place I used should have implemented that.

Brian Miller said...

lol.i think you should definitely use the sheet and you may want to consider giving it to parents as well. i could use one of those.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

With all that is going on in my personal life, I have no umpf for work angst. If the teachers in the office start up, I just walk back to my classroom.

Mrs. K said...

Funny...reminds me it's time for me to post an update on NC.

Kulio said...

Worksheet = Brilliant

Seriously, maybe a twist on the worksheet idea could work for parents. 1) Is your problem an emergency? If yes, skip to question #32. 2) Give date and location of your most recent vaccinations in chronological order...

♥ Braja said...

Turn the bitchin' into a public session and that'll stop 'em :)) I had one fruitcake blogger writing me crap and so I told her I was going to post the emails she was sending, complete with her name, blog address, the works. Entertaining for people, but also a warning and an outing that one should stay away from nutters :)) Try it!!

Susan Berlien (warmchocmilk) said...

Wow! Well said. Tattling bother me too. This made me think. My son is only 5, but life lessons begin now for him. I need to be aware when he's tattling on his younger brother and point it out to him. Thank you for your insight and reminders. I just found your blog. It's great! I will follow! :)

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Love the worksheet idea. And you're so right. Adults are THE WORST tattlers there are. No wonder our kids never learn!

Hit 40 said...

You definitely should make them a tattle tale sheet!! Too funny. The tattle tales of course think that they are kissing up to you. I also hate hate hate a tattle tale. Grow UP!