Here’s the thing about being a tattle tale

If you were to walk past a preschool classroom at Las Palmas during English class you may hear me saying (rather loudly), “Tattle!” at a student. You might also see me physically turning them around and giving them a gentle nudge toward their seat as they repeat to me that so-and-so touched the chalkboard or so-and-so picked their nose. You may hear me repeat, “Tattle! Tattle!” until they stopped recounting their thrilling tale allowing me to continue teaching. In the past this has been my not-so-great way of handling the tattle tale parade that is a preschool classroom.

ImageNowadays I try a different approach. Mostly because “Tattle!” doesn’t translate well and “No me importa,” (“I don’t care”) was just a little too harsh. Nowadays if you were to walk past a preschool classroom at Las Palmas during English class you may hear me saying (oh, I don’t know, fifty times a day?), “Tu responsibilidad es *insert tattler’s name here.* *Tongue-sticker outer’s name* no es tu responsibilidad.” (Essentially: “You are your own responsibility.”)

You see, my students become very concerned with the behavior of their classmates. So concerned that they conveniently get sidetracked from all of the ways that they are breaking the rules because, “Mira! He doesn’t have one of his shoes on!” To which I might reply, “Sure, he may have one of his shoes off but you stood up and announced that as I was in the middle of leading the class in a song. Your responsibility is you. Shoe boy is not your responsibility. Sit down, please.” You know. That kind of thing.

Remember when I talked about learning the same lessons over and over? Well today let’s discuss how some of the lessons I teach my students I have yet to master myself. Namely, this whole you are your own responsibility deal.

I often become very concerned with the behavior of my classmates. Um, I mean, friends. I often become very concerned with the behavior of my friends. “Mira! God! She didn’t drop everything to help me and she’s a missionary so that’s like her job.” “Mira! God! She totally showed up late for work and that’s super irresponsible. Maybe I should talk to her about that.” “Mira! God! …”

*”Mira” means “look.” As in, “Look over that at what that person is doing!”

This weekend as I was lamenting the sins of others God whispered something to my concerned little heart. “Uh, Suzanne? Your responsibility is Suzanne. Maybe your time would be better spent seeking my face than worrying about how everyone around you is messing up. How are you messing up? Busy-lady and late-girl are not your responsibility. You are your responsibility.”

Oh. Right.

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