When I taught school (in a another lifetime), I would rack my brain for creative solutions to correct unacceptable behavior. Some things worked, some didn’t, some I’m not too proud about. But a confession is not what I had in mind for this post.
A couple weeks ago, Joel shared with me that his teacher told one of the little girls in his class that she could come home with us for lunch (remember that Joel gets over 2 hours in the middle of the day) if she would change her ways. I thought for sure that he had misunderstood this little negotiation as I had not been informed. But no, he was right! And a day or two later, his teacher let me in on this little plan. I agreed, all the while wondering how this was possible (school rules, parents’ consent, liability, insurance…). I don’t know about school rules or liability, but mother’s (a mother that doesn’t know me from Adam) consent seemed to be the only thing that anyone was worried about. A goal was set—two weeks of excellent behavior—and the countdown began.
Alexandrine really put forth the effort, and she was rewarded for it today.
She was a little shy to leave with us and kept running over to hug her best friend, but she finally warmed up, and out we went. Realizing that Madame Lili must have about been at her wit’s end to suggest this récompense, and not wanting the effort to out-weigh the reward, I did my best to make it worthwhile. The kids colored masks, we made cookies that they took back to school to share with everyone, and then lunch was colorful and made to order complete with individual bottles of apple cider. We walked back to school, and I, with a sigh of relief, handed my new little friend, in one piece, over to her teacher.
I wonder if “Lunch At The Billington’s” will ever be pulled out of the hat of desperation again sometime down the road. I guess if it is, I’ll know then, that it was successful.
Vive les professeurs!