Saturday, August 22, 2020

Teacher Tom: "Rivalry Play"

Teacher Tom: "Rivalry Play"

"Rivalry Play"

A five-year-old girl complained that some boys were being "mean" to her and her friend.

I answered, "Oh no, what did you do?"

"I told them to stop it, but they didn't stop."

I looked across the playground at the "mean" boys in question. "It doesn't look like they're being mean right now."

"No, they're not being mean now, but they were."

"And you told them to stop."

"I did."

"And they stopped."

We stood looking at the boys for a moment, then she said, cheering up, "They did." Then the clouds returned, "But they might be mean again."

"They might. Then you'll have to tell them to stop again."

This occurred during one of our summer sessions at Woodland Park, so it was a collection of kids that had just come together for the first time. Some of them know each other from the regular school year, some from previous summers, but others are with us for the first time. I'd known the so-called "mean" boys for the past couple years, neither of whom have a mean bone in their bodies, but I could well imagine that whatever game they were playing might have come into conflict with the game of someone else. I'd just CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: "Rivalry Play"