Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lock Your Lips....

The Kindergarten area can get very loud.  But it can also be very quiet.  Rarely do I hear loud crying coming from 2 rooms away.  So today, when I heard a sudden scream turn into a cry, I followed the sound quickly to the classroom it was coming from. was her.

She looked okay.....physically.....but she was crying so loud I thought she was hurt.  The children were on the carpet listening to the teacher read a book and the cryer was in her chair.  "Time out" if you will, but a very loud time out.  I asked the teacher if everything was okay and she said "yes... she had her sticker taken away."

Each child is given a sticker at the beginning of the day to be put on the calendar kept in their binder.  The goal is to keep the sticker all day.  Several warnings are given before a teacher finally says, go get your binder - translation:  taking the sticker away and indicating on the calendar excessive talking out, hitting, etc.  This system works well for 5 year olds because it is a daily communication of their good behavior.....or not so good behavior.  The parents know daily as opposed to finding out on Friday something that happened on the previous Tuesday.  By that time, the child doesn't remember what any discipline or praise wouldn't be as affective. 

We see calendars with stickers on each day of the month......and some calendars are lacking lots of stickers.  These are 5 year olds.  They work hard at learning and following the rules.

It's about 1:50 pm when the sticker got taken away causing the screaming, crying fit.   Let's just say I would have taken her sticker away by 9:00 am.

That pitiful cryer is a nosy-rosy, non-stop talking, never where she's supposed to be hot mess.  It's ironic that the bigger the rule breaker, the louder the cry is when they get busted. 

I asked her to come with me to my room.  Better to wisk one child out than to ruin the lesson for the other 18.  She came, crying the whole way.  After she caught her breath and I asked her to calm down and tell me what happened, she confessed that she was talking while the teacher was reading to them. She was talking non-stop all day, but the teacher had asked her nicely for the last time.

Me:  And you know you are supposed to be quiet and listen when the teacher's reading?

Her:  Yeah. (sniffle, sniffle)

Me:  You are so just need to work on not talking when your teacher ask you to stop. 

Her:  But my daddy's gonna whip me....cause I got my sticker taken away.....  waaaaahhhhaaaa..... (crying, again.)

Me:  Well, maybe not.  But you've been given many warnings....and you had to have your sticker taken away so your mommy and daddy can help you with this.

I show her how I hold my hands and lock my lips to remind myself to be quiet.  She copies me.....taking this very seriously.

Me:  There are times we just have to be quiet.  Like, if your teacher is're NOT.  Surely you can learn to stop talking.

Her: (turning on the tears again...)    BUT I'VE TRIIIIIIED!       
                                     I JUST LOVE TO TALK!  (more crying...)

Okay, that tugged at my heart.  I know exactly how she feels. I think I'm looking at a 5 year old me. 

Who am I kidding....a 53 year old me.


  1. I love these stories but more than that I love how you talk to and handle these kids. I kind of thing you're brilliant. Even if you can't shut your mouth.

  2. I was a talker too. All A's except conduct-B. But it was not at all like kids can be now. We did know to respect teachers and when they said be quite even the worst were. I taught 2nd grade Sunday School for almost 15 years and was appalled by how the kids behaved. And the thing that got to me the most? Talking while I was's like you aren't even there or even matter. Old childhood issues? Sure but still common sense decency tells you, and IN SUNDAY SCHOOL. I still constantly wonder how full-time teachers do it; it drove me crazy 1 1/2 per week!