Wednesday, October 26, 2011

There are no Losers in Young 5's.

That's right, the title says it all.  There are no losers in Young Fives.  This is my class, and these are my people.  I love being their parapro, and helping my dear friend Debbie teach them all they need to begin Kindergarten.  We have an interesting mix of little characters in my class, and each one of them is a gift.  Sometimes they are a gift because their sweetness touches my heart.  Sometimes they are a gift because they are teaching me patience by giving me lots of practice keeping my words kind. 

Today one of my little friends lost his battle to keep his words kind, and he called the guy next to him a loser.  Not Cool.  This is not the way Young Fives are allowed to behave.  The young man and I went out into the hallway to discuss his breach of appropriate etiquette. 

He started sobbing loudly about the time his feet crossed the threshold.  This appears to get him some kind of reprieve in some other areas of his life, however, this is school.  It's still your party, and you can cry if you want to, but I've seen a lot of cute kids, and none so cute that the rules did not apply to them.  Your cuteness or sadness will not affect my reaction to your choices.  Save your water, son, I'm immune to your cuteness. 

So I asked him why he called this other kid a loser, and he starts to tell me how tough his life is and that he hardly ever wins at anything and he hardly ever gets to be first, and he just loses all the time.  Then he hits me with the corker, "I guess I'm really just a poor sport."  This catches me off guard, and I'm trying not to laugh, because I'm pretty sure this poor fella is having problems enough with all life kicking his tail, and all.  He doesn't need me to make it worse. It's pretty odd, though, since we were just sitting on our spots on the carpet when he let loose with this mean label, and "carpet-sitting" isn't really all that competitive. I never really equated "sportsmanship" with "sitting on a plastic dot on the carpet".  Although I've seen a whole lot of things become competitive that shouldn't have been.    

I know why he called the other kid a loser.  If you polled the class, you could come up with quite a consensus that the other kid had it coming... Still, not nice.  Not tolerated.  So I explained to this poor young soul that there are no losers in Young Fives.  Only winners.  Only people who try their best, and are kind to their friends.   I told him that everyone in this class is loved and cared for, and is trying to learn more and more stuff, so we can all win when we get older. I ask him if he can be a good sport the rest of the day.  He can, which is really good news. 

So how about you?  Are you being a good sport?  Are you so upset about not being first, or hardly ever being the winner that you can't be kind to your friends?  Can you sit on the carpet politely with your friends without saying mean words that hurt their feelings?  Or maybe you just want to win so badly that you don't really care that you are hurting someone else.  Gee, I hope not. That kid had to miss his recess, and I'd hate to see that happen to you!        

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