October 29, 2006

From the Tattle Tale Files

Mister Teacher posted an anecdote about the Princess Tattler he has this year. Who doesn't loathe tattlers?

Since I teach at the secondary level, I don't have too much tattling, and when I do, it's usually kids just goofing around. "Miss! He hit me, poked me, looked at me, took my pencil, or did something I obviously cannot deal with on my own."

I used to answer, "Well, what did YOU do to provoke him?" Doesn't it usually seem that the tattler is often the instigator?

Lately I've been amusing myself with responses such as, "Well, them I'm going to have to hang him upside down and throw darts at him." Or, "I'm going to have to banish him to another realm."

When dealing with my own children I say, "Well, I'm just going to beat the shit out of him. Does that sound like a good solution?" (Their eyes get wide and they run off and deal with their petty issues without my help. In case you aren't a regular reader, of course I wouldn't follow through on that threat. Even if it does sound like a good idea.)

Mister Teacher's post brought to mind an incident with my high schoolers last week. If you think it's irritating to have 2nd graders tattle, try 12th graders. It's hard for me to not completely go off about their immaturity when they tattle, so I generally ignore them. However, I did put one of my senior boys in his place (he was left speechless) last week:

"Miss! She's bugging to me! I'm trying to concentrate." As far as I had observed, he had not been concentrating most of the night. And who was he tattling on? His own girlfriend.

"Listen," I said, "You're going to be a dad soon. Leave her alone. She's eight months pregnant, and you need to treat her with a little more respect. Stop tattling already! Daddies don't do that. You need to GROW UP!"

That poor pregnant girl has TWO kids to raise.

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