How to know if a student is fibbing, lying, or not telling the truth is pretty easy. If young children perceive they are in trouble and their lips are moving they are probably telling a fib. It is my job to mentor them, guide them and make them feel safe enough to just tell what happened. As I write this I am worried that you the reader will be offended by the word lying. So, stay with me as there is a funny story attached to the topic of fibbing. I prefer the word being dishonest, love the word fibbing but lying is the word that the children use when describing being dishonest. However, no matter what you call it, lying is the first strategy that most kids use when they perceive they are in trouble. This story is about another clue for student lying and a funny one. Here is the story…
Two boys were sent to my office for a disagreement on the playground. I will not use names so as to protect the innocent because they truly are. I love my students! Boy A said boy B had kicked him in the private parts. Boy B said he did not kick anyone in the private parts and it was actually Boy A who had kicked him. This went on for a few moments with each assuring me that the other boy had done the crime. I am thinking unless each boy simultaneously kicked the other boy in the private parts someone is lying, (or being dishonest). I said to them I just need you to tell me the truth, be honest and I can then help. Boy A pointed to boy B and said he kicked me in the private parts. The accused quickly and with great fervor said, I am not lying because I smile when I lie and I’m not smiling.
At this point I lost it and could not stop laughing. I’m talking a belly laugh. Please, do not judge as I take my job seriously and treat others with respect but his comment just tickled my funny bone. Once I regained my composure I reminded them that we use our words to express ourselves and it is never okay to put our hands on another human being or as in this case a foot. Both boys seemed satisfied and I walked them back to class.
Each day as an educator is filled with funny stories, heart breaking stories, stories of triumph and wonder. Most of us say I should be writing this stuff down! I am writing down and would love to hear your stories from your school site. Please, feel free to comment about this one and/or share yours.