Each day the children mill about the Pre-Primary classroom, choosing works, working with friends or working independently. Many friendships are built and negotiated each day. A child approached a teacher and said that her friend kept walking away from her when she would try to talk him. “He yelled ‘stop following me!’” The girl’s eyes were filled with tears. The teacher went and found the other friend involved. She knelt down to listen to what he had to say about the conflict.
The teacher asked the girl to please explain to her friend why she was feeling upset. The girl told her friend that she was trying to talk to him and it hurt her feelings when the friend yelled at her and walked away. The second child played with his shirt and looked at the teacher. The teacher asked the second child to please give a kind message to his friend. The second child immediately said “ I told her to stop following me. I don’t want to play with her!” The teacher got down and reminded the second child that this girl is his friend and that his messages were hurting his friend’s feelings. The teacher softly gave the words for a gentler message.
The second child looked at his friend, “ I want to work by myself right now. Can we play together outside at recess?” The first friend still looked a bit sad, but nodded and walked away and chose a puzzle from the Math shelf. The second friend ran over and said “Hey can I do that puzzle with you?!” The girl smiled and they ran to grab a work rug together.