Yesterday was the first day back at school for the children - I have had three days of quiet planning in school without children for the first chunk of the week.
On their first day back, the children were showing their wonderfully true colours in oh so many ways. Just to give a bit of perspective, the children in my class are 7 & 8 years old.
We started the day with a circle time where everyone shared how they were feeling, the best present they gave, and the best present they received. Let's just say that apple have made a whole lot of money out of the families in my class this Christmas. I cannot count the number of children who received an ipad, imac, ipod shuffle / touch / nano, or just a plain old laptop or kindle for Christmas. Oh my.
A little later on in the day, a girl turns to me and says, 'I'm just trying to explain what a landline is.' Oh wow. These children live in an age where mobiles have taken over. Once I'd added to the explanation, a glimmer of understanding came to the child who had no idea what a landline was and said, 'oooh, are they the ones that have a long cord?'
My teenage years saw me putting in a lot of hours on our landline. I would carry it up the stairs as far as the cord would stretch to try and gain a little privacy. The result of which was a few phones being forever damaged, their spiral cords being twisted and contorted to the point of no return. Those memories are happy ones, and I am sad that the children of today will probably never experience the joy of twirling a phone cord while they chat away for hours to their best friends on the phone.
After morning break, a couple of children seemed out of sorts but did not want to talk about it to the rest of the group because it was a private issue. I thought nothing more of it as my focus was largely consumed by trying to keep a class on track, which is still a new challenge for me, being new to teaching and all that jazz. When I brought the children in from lunch time, the situation had clearly escalated and I was greeted by a flurry of children saying trying to explain the problem to me. What I gathered was this.
'Miss, I love Mia, and she loves me, but Sam's brother says he has to have a girlfriend and that Mia has to dump all other boys and that she can only be with Sam, but we've been in love since Year 2 and it's not fair that they are trying to make Mia do something she doesn't want to, and then Sam's brother brought a load of his friends and they are trying to beat us up...'
Wow. This needs some breaking down, I thought to myself. As I asked a few questions, I was very pleased to hear how mature the children involved had been at trying to resolve the conflict with the slightly more grown up and scary Year 4's, but realised that we were not going to get this little love triangle resolved there and then in the playground. So, myself and my colleague took each one of the three to the library separately to chat about it. In all honesty, I really struggled not to break into a smile at how I was giving relationship advice and hearing relationship problems to 7 and 8 year olds. My colleague commented that we were talking to 7 year olds going on 27. Honestly, I think some adults could take advise from these little ones.
Having heard each member of the love triangle tell their side to the story, it was apparent, that they had all resolved the problem, and that Travis and Mia just wanted to be together and to be left alone, and Sam was quite happy being single, but readily acknowledges that he has a big brother who 'likes to interfere in other people's business'.
So we went on our merry way, out into the school playground to collect some leaves for a project. Travis said to me on our way out,
'Thank you so much, Mrs King for really listening to us and helping to sort out our problem...I really appreciate you being so considerate.'
These were his words, I kid you not. Maybe I should become the school's resident Agony Aunt....