I'm part of a scholarship committee at school where we look at a list of candidates for various scholarships and pick a recipient. This past week the list included a person who is a BIG whiner in my class. Everything needs to be complained about. There's too much homework. It's too hard. I expect too much. I never help. Help me. Help me. Help me. ... Most of the time I'm pretty patient, though the other day I told this student that they complained too much, and they were "shocked", and said that it wasn't true. Hmmmm.
Well, this student's name came up for a scholarship. With a wee bit of hesitation, I mentioned the situation and also said that I didn't know if that should be a factor. There were also a handful of other kids on the list, all of whom were wonderful. Another teacher's reaction to my statement was, "yes, I've heard that a lot about this student". .... This student was not the recipient of the scholarship.
How does one distinguish between doing the kid a favor and telling them that their behavior is atrocious and just being "mean spirited" when telling the kid they're annoying? I mean, it's still a learning process to them. If no one tells them things are "wrong", then they'll just go on acting like they do because they don't know any better.