Slice of Life: mending fences

S– and D– were BFFs and partners in everything. But, last week, they asked to change partnerships.

What happened? I ask.
S– says something about the science project.
D– says something about talking smack.

After a little research, I find out mistakes were made. Feelings were hurt, and now their friendship is at risk.

During a quiet time, I sit next to S– and ask him if he’d like to have a conversation with D–. Both agreed, and we sit down after school.

I start them out: “Tell D– how you feel by saying, ‘you hurt me when you…’ and D– you need to listen. You might not have meant it but, you can’t deny how S– feels.” After a few tries back and forth, with lowered heads and soft mumbling, both boys get out what was said and how they felt.

A few deep breaths later, I ask them, “Can you try to trust each other again and be friends?”

“I like to if he would,” S– said, looking at me.
“How about you, D–?”
“Ok, I’ll try, ” D says.

They break my heart as they confessed their feelings.

Today, the two seemed to be getting along so as D– was walking out of class, I ask, “How’s it going with S–?”
“We’re 75% there!” he says.
“Yay!” I cheer.

So much about getting along is about being able to make up. Even the best of friends hurt one another. And it seems a fair amount of my teaching life is spent trying to mend fences.

Now on to M– and S–. This formidable duo is noticeably detached.  They are my project for tomorrow.

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for their supportive writing community. Find more slice of life stories here.