Tattling drama

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Backroads, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,622
    Likes Received:
    1,920

    Oct 13, 2015

    No real personal story here, but just something I was chatting about with a few other teachers.

    There seems to be cases here and there in our school of kids who take pointing out other's faults to a personal level, like their lives are at stake if they don't manage to get another kid in trouble--one teacher said he had a girl bawling when she said another little girl had lipstick in her backpack and the teacher did nothing about it.

    I've heard two sides of the solution: either ignore most tattling with an explanation of true emergencies, and deal with each and every tattle in hopes of building up the tattler's security and helping him see what truly qualifies as important.

    Sometimes I think there are kids that are just desperate for attention, and tattling is one way to get it. Or perhaps a kid is having trouble with another student, and uses tattling over little things as a battle strategy. I've had the latter before, and it seems to be a mean girl tactic.

    I keep thinking about this other teacher's bawling girl, and I can't help but wonder what one would do if tattling were that important to a student?
     
  2.  
  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,262
    Likes Received:
    748

    Oct 13, 2015

    If there is one thing I have learned in teaching, ignoring a problem rarely makes it go away. I do think that teaching children about tattling--when to tell a teacher, how to tell a teacher (such as in private in order to not embarrass a student), and other issues like that is very helpful. I have noticed that teachers that handle tattling issues by teaching and working with students are much better at helping decrease tattling then those who just ignore it.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,055
    Likes Received:
    1,878

    Oct 14, 2015

    When I work with younger students, I talk a lot about the difference between tattling and telling. Simply put, the purpose of telling (reporting) is to keep someone safe, while the purpose of tattling is to get someone into trouble. When students approach me to "tell", I talk to them first about their purpose; often that stops the
     
    ChildWhisperer likes this.
  5. i.heart.trees

    i.heart.trees Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    3

    Oct 21, 2015

    One strategy might be to have a box where students could write you messages. This way it doesn't have to be a whole-class discussion, where everyone seems to listen in on who is telling on who and about what. Students can vent through writing, and you can take the time to read it during the right time. One of the teachers at my school is trying this out with a group of kids with challenging behaviors. The box is full. I'm not sure if that's all a good thing, but it's probably a start.
     
    DressageLady likes this.
  6. showmelady

    showmelady Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    25

    Oct 22, 2015

    I know "tattling" is a problem with some students. But I just wonder what the best way is to distinguish between tattling and telling important information to a teacher or other adult.

    I mean, could it be possible that because we try to get kids NOT to TATTLE maybe that leads to them not informing on someone when it would be appropriate. With all the incidents at various schools in the last few years I just wonder how many could have been avoided if someone had just "tattled" on the troubled student who took out rage and hurt on everyone else.
     
    txmomteacher2 likes this.
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Oct 22, 2015

    I kept a box in my room and told the kids that they had to put their complaints in writing. Then I could decide how to proceed, either with the class or individuals, and it also gave the kids time to cool down. It also cut down on inconsequential tattling since they weren't worth the trouble of the students writing them down.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  8. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,245
    Likes Received:
    433

    Oct 25, 2015

    I tell my kids (4-5yo) to only tell me something if someone is hurt or if they have already talked to the friend about the problem/situation/whatever and 1. the friend is not listening or 2. they can't resolve the conflict.
    It really depends on the kid at this age, but my class last year did amazing with following this rule and it cut down on the tattling/telling dramatically! It was awesome... I really miss that class..
     
  9. newkgteacher

    newkgteacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    2

    Oct 26, 2015

    I have them fill out a questionnaire designed to teach them how to distinguish things they should tell me and those that they shouldn't. It's taking a long time for them to learn, but I am starting to see some progress.
     
  10. Jen84

    Jen84 Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 1, 2015

    I have a list of six important/serious things that they should tell me about. This really helps them understand the difference between tattling and telling. At times they still try to tattle, but I remind them if it's not on the list they don't need to tell me.
     
  11. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    Nov 1, 2015

    What are those 6 things if you don't mind sharing? Do you have them up on a poster or is it discussed?
     
  12. i.heart.trees

    i.heart.trees Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 30, 2017

    Looking back at this I also counted with the student how many times he tattled. It made it easier for him to understand what tattling was and I also noticed that he was able to recognize when other students were tattling. :tearsofjoy:
     
    Backroads likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 309 (members: 0, guests: 281, robots: 28)
test