On this morning’s break, getting the baggies of sight words mounted on strips of adding machine tape to get the group working more efficiently with them, I was also stuffing in a few mouthfuls of organic red grapes when the family case manager and new school psychologist came in to ask me questions about the SST process. As new personnel they are trying to find or recreate records, so I shared a doc with them for last year’s intervention log.
They were in full swing holding an uninvited meeting at my desk, during my only rest moment, when the custodian entered.
I moved over to him, eyeing the little plastic box he had in his hand. In his accent I thought he had said, “bug.”
“Oh thank you, Manuel! You caught one!” I clapped and admired the small, dark green praying mantis he had captured on the playground.
“Isn’t he grand?” I asked the psychologist and case manager, who were squinting at him and looking like they’re rather not be near it.
“I have to get a container…thank you, Manuel!” I waved as he walked down the pod hallway.
And back to the business at hand. Trying to wrest a procedure where there had been none, or one that was run by two people no longer with us. And feeling a bit frustrated because the new psychologist hasn’t gone to his boss for the information I suggested he’d get. I was feeling like why are they asking me this stuff?
“Do you mind if I’m putting these sight word cards on the strip while you talk to me?” I asked. They moved their meeting on…
I just had enough time to dash over to the 5th grade science cabinet to get a small terrarium before the recess bell and I had to meet my first grade readers.
Later in the afternoon, when I drove in the driveway, my mom was sitting out on the porch. I brought up the terrarium and announced that we were going to have an easier-to-maintain pet than our fussy cat.
She ooh-ed and aah-ed the bug clambering around on the inside lid. I planted a few succulent cuttings I’d brought home from the coast on the weekend and then invited mom to go round back for the mantis release.
I got the lid off at ground level and we watched the praying mantis clamor up to the first branch of the Westringia it could reach. And then, leg over leg, he climbed up high into the bush, quite quickly and adeptly.
We admired him and wished him luck. Perhaps he will thrive and catch lots of bugs. His little green body and stick legs became hard to see in the tangle of bush.
So, a gift bug and sharing him with mom was the best part of my day.