Why Can’t we all Just be Friends?

hugging pic

It’s been ages since my last post. At this time our province and teachers are in the middle of emotionally charged contract negotiations. So, it has been a little melancholic around here lately, which has made it really hard to write. Time to share, though, I can’t let another week go by without gushing about my Firsties!

As I have gone on about in other posts, my class is a tough group. It’s the kind of class that makes you seriously rethink your teaching career and run for the hills so you can live in a small cabin with no chance of a child interrupting your solitude; however, as the past few weeks have proven, they are also extremely kind and caring. We have had two students leave our class family within one week and the reponse their classmates had was… well, let’s say very surprising to me. I honestly didn’t think they’d really notice and that they’d be able to move on.

We knew about one of the students ahead of time so we made her a little book about things that we would miss with her leaving. Now this little girl (by little, I really mean little, she’s a tiny thing) is spunky, funny, and very caring. My students, not missing on an opportunity to be silly wrote about the following things that they would miss with her leaving:

I will miss when _____ barks and whines like a dog.
I will miss _____ nibbling on my shirt at story time.
I will miss picking _____ up and carry her around on the playground.
I will miss _____ jumping and spinning around.
I will miss _____ playing with my hair.
I will miss _____ hanging off my arm.
I will miss how _____ makes cards for me.

Not your traditional good bye book, but these came straight from their hearts. It’s a given that they will miss their fellow classmate because she is kind, caring, and fun… but these reasons are what makes their friendship unique and irreplaceable

Right before spring break began we had another student move suddenly. We found out at recess and had to pack up all of his things for him to leave by the end of the day. Despite it being the last day of school before spring break, having two performance groups to watch in the gym and crazy fun time in between, they were all sad. I eavesdropped on a number of private conversations that kids who I thought hated him were having with him. They were filled with just as much care as they had put in the good bye book they made earlier in the week.

My students will move on, new friendships will be made, but I hope that they will remember for the rest of their lives how much people that they met in school do actually care about them.

Not surprisingly, this theme area was a great one for my students to do. I think our friendship unit has been one of the most engaging themes I have done all year. In a past post I shared a friendship interview sheet. LOOK at my students, they are actually working!!! I had NO behaviour issues through this and they were so proud to share what they learned about their friend.

kids working pic kids working pic 2

I have to do this again, so here is part two of the friendship interview.

friendship interview pdf

This is a great book by Nancy Carlson for your friendship unit. I use it every year.

How to Lose All Your Friends book thumbnail

After reading this book, we worked through qualities of friendship that are valued and behaviours that prevent friendships and the students recorded their thoughts on this sheet.

how to make friends pdf

… and here is a booklet students can make to go along with the friendship poem “I Have a Friend”.

friendship book pdf

Happy Teaching!

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