I am posting every day during March as part of the annual "Slice of Life" Challenge 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.
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.
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.
Here's her note!