Friday, March 28, 2014

SOLSC #28 Everything matters

I am posting every day during March as part of the annual "Slice of LifeChallenge for Two Writing Teachers.  Check out their website for lots more reflections on teaching.

Naptime, yesterday, I observed one of my sweet students with her hair barrette in her mouth, and I instinctively, robotically, automatically,
stuck out my hand and demanded she give me the barrette -
"I don't want you to choke. I keep you safe," I whispered.
"I don't want you to take it," she cried.
"Just during nap. Then you will have it back," I explained, and I slipped the barrette ... where?
into my pocket?
onto the book shelf?
near the sign out sheet?
No idea. Didn't give it another thought.

There are so many of these motions during my day,
the instinctive, robotic, automatic.
Things I do that I hardly give another thought.

Ah, but she gave it lots more thought.
Not during the school day,
but at home,
in the evening,
with her family,
when she cried about how I had kept her barrette.

Oh my.

First thing this morning,
she came to me in tears,
"Please may I have my barrette back? I am not going to put it in my mouth anymore."

Yes, this matters.
Really, it does.

Everything matters.

the instinctive, robotic, automatic move on my part 
did not result in my remembering where I put that 
very small but important object.

"Yellow is my favorite color," she cried.

We searched together,
the book shelf,
the baskets at the doorway,
the sign-in sheet.
All my usual places for lost, mis-placed, "hold-for-awhile"objects.
To no avail.

Next  - I will go home and check the pants' pockets from yesterday -
may it be there!

"Would you write me a note, so that I remember to look for your yellow barrette?" I asked.

Yes, the teacher in me turned this into a pre-literacy moment!! ;-)

Here's her note!
Everything matters.


  1. Awww! What a poignant reminder that "everything matters". I love her note -- it definitely carries all the meaning she needs it to, even though she isn't able to add words yet! (And now she knows how notes can be used!)

  2. You captured your student's voice so beautifully in this slice. You are such a compassionate teacher: caring about safety and caring about feelings/wants/needs. I loved that pre-literacy moment. Thanks for sharing her drawing with us!

  3. Inspiring, wonderful teachers matter, especially to their students. Thanks for all you do!