And, in my classroom, "O" is helping me remember this. All the first day, he looked like he may cry at any moment. He was so serious - and maybe a little uncertain because of this new experience. He seemed interested and engaged but so serious. I discovered that he was quiet, not wanting to talk much or call attention to himself.
The next week, I watched him quietly build a small catapult and test it with small blocks. He caught me watching and smiled. I gave him a thumbs up.
Last week he arrived in the room first. No one else was in the room but me; Mrs. Cindy had stepped out to find something. "Tell him about your baseball team," his father suggested as he closed the door. "O" sat at the table and began working with the beads. I talked about the colors and what he was doing and then we sat in comfortable silence as he worked and I watched. "I was on the Yankees," O said. "Now I'm on the Reds." We talked about his practices in short bursts, as other children filled the room and Mrs. Cindy returned. O moved on throughout the room, quietly investigating. I moved through the room, doing my thing.
This week O arrived with a homemade light saber. We talked about it and put it in a safe place. O moved to the writing table and began to draw. He drew a black line across the top of his paper. "Black?" I asked. "It's space," he said. He continued with grass and sky (under space) and so forth. We're building a relationship. I'm learning about him, his interests, and his temperament. Also what he likes to do. He's learning that the classroom is a place where he can explore and discover safely in ways he likes to explore. And, hopefully, he's learning that adults in his class are interested in him and want to help him learn more about the world and the Bible.
|O's drawing - notice space above the sky.|
I'm working to create a place where kids can learn together, work together, and relate to each other.