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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Klepto Katie…


Katie put a booger on my chair!!

As designated chair inspector for the day, I pointed out that the indicated booger on his chair was just a scuff mark. 

“It’s NOT A BOOGER! Now let’s get back to work and quit tattling!”

At first impressions, it appeared that the short, cute little girl was being picked on and bullied by some of the other kids in the classroom. But after the first half dozen, tattletale complaints, I started watching Katie with more than the usual frequency of required scrutiny. Initial impressions can be wrong.

It’s the second day in this classroom and I’m see that “they” aren’t picking on Katie, SHE is picking on “them”!!  

 Katie goes out of her way to tick off as many of her classmates as possible in the most irritating ways and she’s very sneaky about doing it!

When she thinks I’m not looking in her direction and she’s off on the next quest to push some buttons. If she’s not constantly blowing her nose and pretending to wipe it on chairs, desks and bodies on her way to the trash can, she’s snatching anything that isn’t nailed down off/under/around the desks of other kids as she wanders the room.

Katie (not her real name) is a 3rd grader at the country club school just up the road from where I live. She is having a hard time making friends. It’s pretty easy to see why.

When I had a chance, I called her over for a quite conference to point out that I was aware of some of the things she was doing.

K: Nobody likes me.
Me: Why do you think that?
K: (shrugs)

Me: Do you think maybe that when someone takes things without asking might not be the best way to “borrow” stuff?
K: (nods yes)

Me: Katie, can you see how words like ‘please’, ‘thank you’, and ‘May I’ might help you to make friends.
K: I don’t have any friends.

Me: No friends at all?
K: (she nods the affirmative).

Me: Don’t you want to have friends?
K: (another nod).

Me: Do you see how taking other kids’ things and putting pretend boogers on peoples’ stuff might not seem “friendly”?  
K: (another nod)

Me: So why don’t we try to do the ‘friendly’ thing and “ask” permission before “borrowing” stuff and also stop putting pretend boogers on people.
Do you think that might work?

K: (smiles and nods again)
Me: Let’s get back to work, OK?

As she makes her way back to her chair, I watch as she snatched a pencil off the first unattended desk she passed.

My end of day report, including observations about Katie, was probably not new information to the teacher.

6 comments:

Ricochet said...

Sounds like a junior I teach. I know he has been told the same comments often - but sees no reason to change.

Mr. C said...

I recently finished a several week job, and I could swear that I had that exact same girl in on of my classes, except she was in 7th grade.

Anonymous said...

I am a pre-service teacher and I know I may end up working as a substitute at some point. Do most students still behave well when you sub for their teacher? Any suggestions about what to really look out for as a substitute teacher?

KellyMaag said...

I have seen students like this before while I do observations. There is a little boy, we can call him Jim, who does the same thing, however, it is takedn to a whole other level. Jim is a 5th grader who goes home to his parents and tells them how he is bullied. The principal has gotten involved, and also agrees that it is Jim's fault because he is the real bully. At this point all Jim's teachers and the principal just take it day by day and hope that this problem doesnt escalade.

Anonymous said...

This was cute. it is amazing working with children. we try to help them as much as we can and with their little personalities they do what they want anyway. so much for effort... cute story though

caitlin N. said...

Try asking these students what they think THEY can do to remedy a situation. You essentially told her the solution, which doesn't result in learning or ownership of a solution.