Thursday, August 28, 2008

Starting Young

Earlier this week I helped out at 1st grade lunch and recess. As I whirled around the room, helping to open milk containers, juice boxes, applesauce, and fruit cups, one little girl in Tootle's class stopped me to tell me that her friend gave her a pushup fruit bar from her cafeteria-bought lunch and she didn't want it. As I went to give the fruit bar back to the friend, I noticed that she already had one on her tray. The tattletale girl piped up that her friend had put an extra fruit bar under her shirt to give to her. I told the offender that it was wrong to take something that she didn't pay for, even if it was for a friend, and then returned the fruit bar to the cafeteria manager. I probably should have made the offender take the fruit bar back. I was really shocked to see a first grader do something like this; she clearly knew that it was wrong since she put it under her shirt. As I listened to the kids talking with each other, I also noted that these girls were quite sassy and mean. That evening I encouraged Tootle to steer clear of these girls. Tootle tends to be a leader rather than a follower, but I don't want her to be influenced by these kids, especially the little thief, in any way. In the 5 years that I have volunteered at this school, this is the first time that I've encountered this kind of behavior. Kids at this school typically are very well mannered and follow the rules. Tootle reports that these two girls have been disruptive in class and had to be separated. It may be a long year for Tootle's teacher.

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