My fifth grade girls have reached the point in the year where they are turning into sixth graders complete with all the drama that follows. I find myself giving extra reminders to be kind, mind your own business and for heavens sake… just get along.
Just before lunch one of the girls checked to see if it is girls’ lunch day. We have had so many disruptions in our schedule none of us were sure but I checked back in my plan book and sure enough it was their day. Oh boy I think… will this be a lunch spent refereeing?
The girls go to the cafeteria to get their lunches and I head to get mine from the staff room. We meet in the library. I had to wait my turn for the microwave and I got a bit antsy thinking… what can be going wrong? Has bickering broken out yet?
I rushed into the library and was thrilled to see the girls had moved the tables together and set up chairs for everyone. They smiled when I walked in and proudly showed me they had saved me a seat at the head of the table. Good sign I think.
We open up the conversation by trying to figure out if everyone has read our girl club book. When we find out two girls haven’t read it yet we teeter on tension but it is diffused when one of the girls says she will bring in her copy to share. We agree to wait a few more weeks.
One of the girls suggests we share out what we are reading. I loved listening to their conversation! They shared ideas about books and even though they read on a wide range of levels everyone was heard and respected. Lots of laughing happened over books more than one has shared or other silly things the girls said.
When it was my turn I shared about the book I am reading. I told them I enjoy it but for some reason it is taking me a long time to read. They instantly became a group of problem solvers… “Maybe it isn’t “Just Right” for you right now”, “Are you reading in bed maybe you aren’t focused?”, “You said there is great vocabulary, maybe you have to pay closer attention”. I loved how my girls tried to help me out all with excellent advice… I wonder how they got to be so wise.
I sent them off to recess feeling they were a slightly more cohesive group of classmates. I think all they needed was some common ground. I just wonder how long it will last.