Thursday, August 14, 2014

Breaking up the band

The girls started fifth grade yesterday with some trepidation. After a days of texting and calling, they discovered their core friends group wasn't with them in class. In fact, the girls weren't even in class together. The girls were happy to be separated from each other. They were not happy to be separated from their friends.

I told them that their principal "broke up the band" as the saying goes. Throughout fourth grade I heard regular stories about how their class was in trouble for this problem or that problem. Most of the time the problem was that they wouldn't stop talking to each other. They had trouble getting out of the building when the fire drill started. In fact, they were the last class out of the building, despite being pretty close to the exit. After the active shooter drill, the principal came into their fourth grade class to explain why it's important to be quiet during the drill. Every time I told them their class was going to get into real trouble for not cooperating with whatever was going on. Sure enough, their group was separated among the seven different fifth grade classes.

When the girls found out they were not with their friends, they were very unhappy. They lamented the separation, even though I kept reminding them that they caused this situation. If they had been cooperative and worked with the school, their group might have stayed intact. Of course, some of them would have been in different classes anyway. A few of them might have stayed together.

We're two days into fifth grade and the girls discovered that they liked their new teachers. They realized they would still see their core friends group at lunch and recess. They had more to talk about since they had stories from each class. Somehow, they all survived the trauma of being separated.

Now that we've survived this dismantling, maybe they can start paying attention to what is going on in class.

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