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Thursday, July 10, 2008

What to do about tattling?

Attention all teachers! I am once again calling for your assistance on a future column. I appreciate all of the responses that I got for the "What are you doing this summer?" prompt, and I hope the response is just as good this time around.

This time, I'd like to know how do you handle kids who tattle? I mean, face it, you can't be a teacher and NOT constantly deal with those kids who feel a mighty sense of justice for everyone except themselves.

So what strategies or techniques do you employ to deal with these tattle tales? Feel free to leave a comment here, or send me an e-mail at with the subject "Tattle Tales."

In other news, The Scholastic Scribe has included me today on her Take Another Look Thursday post. If the word Zork means anything to you, then my flashback post will bring back good memories for you.


loonyhiker said...

My rule of thumb is: Unless someone could get hurt, I don't want to hear it. If you are tattling on someone to get them in trouble, you will get the same punishment so think hard if you want to see them punished.

Edna Lee said...

For non-violent incidents, my students must complete a detailed four page form outlining every minute detail of the incident. (After all, it is important I know everything that happened.) I will probably also return the forms to them several times if information is unclear or incomplete and ask them to clarify their remarks.

After their first tattling experience, they don't generally tattle again. Let's face it, that form sucks.

Mrs. Bluebird said...

When I did a lot of subbing in elementary school, this drove me nuts. I had a teacher tell me that she has the students write down a statement, including, name, date, location and fully describe the incident, then put it in her mailbox. It was often so much like a writing assignment, that they ended up giving up and not tattling.

As a middle school teacher this isn't much of a problem. At this age, you kind of want them to tattle with such things as "So and so brought a knife to school."

Mike in Texas said...

When I taught 2nd grade I had a class that liked to tattle, so I got a clipboard, labeled it "The Tattling Board" and told kids they had to write it down. That put a stop to most of it.

Anonymous said...

What they said. I haven't had to resort to this yet, but I have a plan to use a "Tattling Book" for children to report their news. Apparently this works even for preschoolers, even if they only scribble.

Anonymous said...

Unless I need to call 911, I don't need to hear about it. ;)