In Hailey’s kindergarten class, there is an apple tree. It isn’t a real tree of course, but pieces of laminated posterboard made to look like a tree. Each child has an apple with their name on it. If they misbehave or don’t follow directions, they have to move their apple off the tree. If they go the whole week without moving their apple, they get to pick a prize from the prize box. Hailey goes to a year-round school so she just started her third nine weeks in January. In that time, I can count on one hand how many times she has been able to get a prize out of the prize box. The girl loves to talk (she gets that from her dad I’m sure). She talks when she is bored, she talks when she is sad, she talks when she is happy, she talks when she is told not to talk. A couple of weeks ago she was doing really well and then had to move her apple. She said she cried on her way to the apple tree. She really wants to follow directions, but more than that, she wants to do what Hailey wants when she wants to do it and who cares about the consequences. It is worse if she moves her apple at the beginning of the week because she doesn’t have as much of an incentive to keep her apple on the tree for the remainder of the week.
Hailey wants to be Terrific Kid. In her class, the kids vote on the Terrific Kid each week but they can only choose from the children who did not move their apple at all the previous week. It is hard to be TK if you are never one of the possible choices. It is hard for Hailey to follow directions all day every day. She actually told me one morning that she really tries and she wants to do good but that when she wakes up in the morning, her brain is on backwards. (I know the feeling.)
We were so excited that she made it through Thursday this week and had not moved her apple. Celebrate! But wait…at the 11th hour, she moved her apple. Her teacher had already written a note on her sheet that they were proud of her for having such a good week and then she had to go and move her apple. Apparently she was given a piece of candy with gum in the center and was told she could not have it until she got home and she ate it anyway. Her excuse? “I was hungry” *sigh* Maybe next week.