Letting My Students Try to Be Good to Each Other

  1. My students often come work in my room during my off periods, lunch, or before or after school.
  2. They often come with someone, and that someone sits next to them and watches them work.
    Or distracts them.
  3. I overhear a lot during these times. Maybe they think I can't hear, or maybe they know I can. Either way they still talk.
    They gossip about other kids. They talk about their families, or lack of families. They talk about phones, cars, licenses, sports, clubs, teams, teachers, etc. everything.
  4. Inevitably one of the kids will have something go wrong, while they're sitting here, either outside my room or with what they're working on in my room.
  5. My first reaction, is to pipe up and explain to them exactly how to fix their sudden problem, mishap, drama.
    I want to give them advice. Tell them what I would do. Or even tell them that it's okay, and they should just move on.
  6. But I bite my tongue and hold my breath.
  7. Example:
    Sidney was working on a paper. Towards the end, she realized she hadn't written an introduction. She was really upset, thinking she would have to rewrite the whole thing. I wanted to jump in and say, just write it on a separate piece of paper and put them together. Easy fix. But I just watched. Brook, the boy "watching her work," put his hand on hers and explained what I was going to explain to her.
  8. He calmly explained the easy fix.
    She thanked him, profusely, and started to write.
  9. Now they've bonded, they've learned that they can look out for one another. And now they have one more person they can trust for a little while longer.
  10. And I'm glad that I didn't say anything.
    And I'm really glad that I get to watch humans be good to each other and become better humans every day.