As a teacher, you try and instil honest morals within the children you teach. But sometimes, Pinocchio just doesn’t learn his/her lesson.
I have several Pinocchios in my class. They lie to me often, mainly to get out of being in trouble. Even when they have seen me, see them, do what they are about to lie to me about, not having done what I’ve literally just seen them do! (I’ve added commas deliberately there because I was confusing myself and I think this way, it makes sense to me and hopefully you!)
So I’ve been teaching my class for 16 months now. I’ve cottoned onto my usual suspects tell tale signs that they are lying to me. The newbies have realised pretty quickly that I’m hot on the signals too!
Nostril flaring, avoiding eye contact, backtracking, stuttering, saying “uhm” quite a lot and chewing the lips or inner cheeks. I’ve sussed them out, yet they still try to lie to me.
I have to admit that I frequently spew out the phrases “this will hurt less if you don’t lie to me,” and “I will admire you more for your honesty than your sneaky attempts to wriggle out of this situation,” which is usually my way of saying “Don’t you dare blooming lie to me young man/lady!” (When did I start to sound like my mum?)
This week, a newbie had a clear opportunity to be Pinocchio and lie his way out of a sticky situation. I was half shocked but mostly proud when he considered his options and decided to tell the truth. It made me see a good side to him which I’ve been unable to see since he arrived. Needless to say, even though he was honest about his actions, he still had to have a detention as he admitted to swearing and pushing someone in a disagreement.
I don’t have many Pinocchios in my class but the ones I do have, will still swear blind that they are innocent in the situations. Have they forgotten that I already know that they are lying, sometimes before they have even opened their mouth!?