As I reflected on this later, two key reminders popped into my head. First, kids want responsibility and take responsibility seriously. O was going to complete the task that I had given him. Like everyone, some younger kids are more persistent in their tasks than others. O seems to be a more focused boy than some of the others I have. But all the kids in my class can accept responsibility and fulfill important tasks. I need to make sure I'm giving that opportunity to them.
Second reminder, kids listen to my words. When I gave O that task, I did want him to help. But my comment to him was almost off-hand, not really thought out, just spontaneous. But he listened. I should make sure my words are ones that I want kids to hear. Often I joke with the kids, saying silly or fun things. That's fine; it's a part of our class culture. But I need to make sure whatever I say are words I want kids to hear, repeat, and remember.
I am so thankful for kids like O...who keep teaching me and reminding me what a wonderful and awesome task I have as a early childhood teacher.