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Home : 2003 : Oct : 4

    Been There (Okay, there right now.)
    By SC

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    I am in a similar situation, actually. I teach second/third multi-age, so I still have my former second graders who are now third graders. When they were in second grade I was very sweet to them because they were such babies when they started. They were all such good kids then, so I didn't have to be much of a stern disciplinarian anyway. Now they're third graders, and still good, sweet kids, but it seems that as kids get older they try to test their limits more. One girl in particular is really frustrating. She had a special place in my heart because she was the kid who cried easily and was a perfectionist, just like I was. Also, I could empathize with her because her parents were divorced, and mine were too. I would let her go make a card for her dad when she said she missed him. She really didn't abuse this privilege in second grade. Now she thinks she can whine her way into getting everything. I know her family fairly well, and I am pretty sure she doesn't get away with that at home.

    Anyway, my plan is to talk to the parents during conferences. Like you, I feel like I know the families pretty well and can talk to them about stuff like this.

    I'm not really trying to give you advice, though, because I'm the LAST person who should be doing that. Just wanted to tell you I've been there. Also, I try to take it as a compliment if kids want to share their personal lives with me. Even those who get in trouble try to talk to me about personal matters, and I see it as an important part of building relationships. However, I know what you mean about it getting annoying. The worst is when your class is in a hyper mood, and one child raises his/her hand to share a personal story (not usually even related to the topic at hand), and this child rambles on and on FOREVER, to the point where everyone else gets all squirrely and noisy.

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