- Seeking Attention- In my experience, this is almost always the case. Students think that it helps to put them in your good graces if they think they are telling you something you would want to know. All students want attention, and this is just one way to get it. For ideas on how to give attention seekers positive attention check out this post.
- To Gain Power- Student often feel powerless, and being able to tell on someone gives them just enough power to feel in control. This can be especially meaningful for students that have something going on in their lives. Another way for students to gain power through tattling is to threaten to tattle. This gives them power with their peers which can sometimes mean the world.
- Question the Rules-Students new to an environment can sometimes turn to tattling when they are unclear of the rules. Teaching students to ask questions instead of tattling can be a powerful way to overcome this. Being very explicit about what the rules are in the first place can prevent this from happening.
I always start the lesson with A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue by Julia Cook. I love Julia Cook. She is a former elementary school counselor turned author who writes amazing books about social issues. This one is a great way to introduce the idea that tattling is not a positive thing. By starting with the book, my students are able to start wrapping their mind around the subject.
How to Talk to an Adult About a Problem
- Stuffed Animal- Some students just need to talk. By having a designated stuffed animal or toy that they can talk to this helps the situation. My only fear with this one is that something could slip by that you might really want to know about.
- A Reporting Journal- A notebook or journal that students can write down what they want to tell you. This one is my favorite because students are able to get out everything that they feel the need to say, and I can read through it to see if there is anything that I need to know.
- A Class Agenda Box- A box within the room that students can write down a problem and put in the box. Then you can read through the box and select one to be discussed during your class meeting. This one has the benefit of having students talk about the problem together.
Want more ideas for creating a positive classroom with a classroom management makeover? Check out this course from Teacher Trap!