Charlie and Terri were hanging out after school in Charlie’s tree house, as usual. Charlie started his detective work a while back; but lately he has mostly been helping kids with their problems. Teri recently joined Charlie as his partner, after Charlie helped her with a little issue she was having with one of her teachers. It has been a couple of weeks now since they helped Jamey Bullock with the problem he was having with the Brown twins.

It was Charlie’s turn to spring the news on Teri. The last time, Teri was the one telling Charlie about Jamey Bullock’s father asking Charlie and Teri to help Jamey. This time, Charlie had a news flash for Teri.

Charlie was sitting on the same old box where he always sat when he and Terri discussed a case. Teri had her usual perch on the rickety table in the corner. The tree house didn’t make a great office; but Charlie and Teri were pretty pleased with their digs. It worked for them.

Charlie took some time getting around to springing the news on Teri. “Ever want to be a teacher?”

Teri frowned as she said, “Well, sure but not all that much. Why?”

Charlie couldn’t keep from grinning as he said, “We’ve been asked to teach a class. The guidance counselor, you know, Mrs. Louis, said she was talking with Jamey Bullock’s father who told her about how we helped Jamey with the problem he was having with the Brown twins. Anyway, she said she was impressed and asked if you and I would talk with a group of fifth–graders about getting along with other kids and stuff.”

Teri nearly lost her balance as she leaned forward to say, “No way!”

Charlie could hardly keep from laughing as he said, “Like you say, ‘Yes way,’ and she wants us to do it a week from this Thursday.”

Teri was flabbergasted. Charlie sometimes was at a loss for words but never Teri. She was the talker in their partnership but not this time. She finally found her voice and said, “What are we supposed to say; what will we talk about? We just get up in front of all those little kids and tell them how to get along with other kids? Who does Mrs. Louis think we are, teachers or something? I sure don’t know how to teach kids and don’t think you do either, do you? You’ll just have to tell her, ‘No way.'”

Charlie and Teri went back and forth for a couple of days about it, sometimes wanting to talk to the kids and other times being sure they definitely didn’t. They went together to tell Mrs. Louis, “No.” To their surprise, she just smiled and said, “I am disappointed. I was hoping you would talk with the class but understand you have not done this before and are probably a little afraid to take on this new challenge. I will help you prepare and will be there so you won’t need to worry about having difficulties. I think you will do fine; but if you are reluctant, I understand. How can I help so you feel more comfortable about talking with the class?”

Charlie and Teri both squirmed some as Mrs. Louis waited. The partners glanced at each other and Charlie finally said, “Well, maybe, I don’t know but maybe we could do it.”

Mrs. Louis turned her attention to Teri who quietly said, “He’s right. Charlie’s right. Maybe we could do it. If you help us, maybe we could do it.”

Charlie and Teri spent most of their free time and twice after school with Mrs. Louis getting ready for the big day. It was finally here.

Charlie and Teri took turns talking as Mrs. Louis clicked the slides in their Power Point.

[Slide 1: A young boy smiling at a cute kitten as he stoops to gently stroke its fur. – Caption: “Be Nice”]

Teri said, “To get along better with other kids, be nice. This means you are friendly and don’t say mean things or do anything that hurts someone. You are a nice person; and you let other kids know you are nice by being nice to them. Be as nice to other kids as you would be with a little kitten.”

[Slide 2: A young girl holding the door for a child on crutches maneuvering into the classroom. – Caption: “Be Polite”]

Charlie said, “To get along better with other kids, be polite. This means you take your good manners with you everywhere you go. Please and thank you are magic words to use as much as you can but taking your good manners with you is a way bigger deal. Don’t push. Don’t shove. Take turns. Don’t bully. Don’t mess with other kids’ stuff. Be considerate of other kids’ feelings and help out when you can. You know how to be polite. Use your good manners wherever you are, with everyone.”

[Slide 3: Five children pushing a wagon containing a very tall box, with one child pulling the wagon, two pushing, and one on each side steadying the tall box. – Caption: “Be Cooperative”]

Teri said, “To get along better with other kids, be cooperative. There are two kinds of cooperation. One is working together to get something done like the kids moving the big box or like when you are on a team. Unless everyone cooperates, it’s not going to work out very well. The other kind is called ‘compromising.’ That’s when each person gives in a little so you can come up with a solution to an argument or disagreement. Both kinds of cooperation are important ways to get along better with other kids.”

[Slide 4: Two children with one sitting at a desk and the other leaning over pointing to a paper, showing the child how to do a math problem. Caption: “Be Dependable”]

Charlie said, “To get along better with other kids, be dependable. This means you do what you agree to do, like helping a friend with math, if you say you will. This is called ‘keeping your word.’ You are dependable when you promise to help out and then really help. It is a lot more too. Other kids can count on you to keep your word. You don’t just keep your word if you feel like it or don’t have anything else to do. It’s your word and you keep it.”

[Slide 5: A slide with smaller images of the first four slides, two on top and two on the bottom. Caption: “Summing Up”]

Terri said, “To get along better with other kids, be nice, be polite, be cooperative, and be dependable. There are more ways to get along better with other kids but Charlie and I thought four would be enough for today. We hope you remember these four tips and use them whenever you can. Here’s a bonus tip. Being nice, being polite, being cooperative, and being dependable also work for getting along better with teachers and parents. Give it a try!

   * Thank you for listening to us.

We are Charlie Checker and Teri Clark, detectives, and we approve this report.