Small Touches

The most personable and actively engaged little people in one of my kindergarten Leveled Literacy Intervention groups really press me to pay attention, stay balanced and teach with empathy.  Today I gave them two take home books, explaining that I will be in a teacher meeting tomorrow and Friday.  One, the most challenging, active little guy came round the horse shoe table after class with him arms open.

I looked at him quizzically.

“Hug?” he said.  I swiveled my chair around and gave him a hug, saying, “Hey, I will miss you guys.”  And the two girls each came round to give and get hugs, too.

A girl I taught last year came in after school, with a big smile, and her girl friend in tow.  “Ms. B., can I have some books?” she asked.  I haven’t talked with A. for quite awhile, so it was a surprise.  “Please?” I prompted and she quickly added it to her request.

I riffled around in the take home books and pulled out a few, giving commercials.  In the midst of my wonder that A. was asking for books (not a confirmed reader), she blurted out, “My Mom is having a baby!”

“Oh!  My, my, you are going to get a baby brother or sister!” I turned to her.  “Then you will definitely like this book…”  I can turn anything into a book commercial.

She left with the books and I asked her to come back Monday and tell me what she thought of them, but I think she was getting access to talk about her news.  Her teacher is out on pregnancy leave — and I know A. much better than the substitute.

I got an email from a bff who totally understood the empath thing when I explained I was flattened yesterday afternoon by a child coming in to tell me the painful memories she couldn’t stop.  I was going to talk about a reading test, but she cried, “I miss my Daddy…” and it went from there.  I drove home, after checking in with the school counselor about the situation, feeling like someone else’s life and pain had been stuffed in my torso.  I felt so flattened that I went to bed at 7 pm to try to rest and read.

The same girl was smiling this morning telling me she camped last night.  It was cold and rainy so I was surprised, but she explained that she made a tent under a table with blankets and slept there.  “My back hurts though,” she said rubbing her hip. I decided I could wait to give her that assessment I’m hoping is going to equal her “graduation” from groups.

Little threads.  Small moments.  I like to turn these scenes over in my mind, like little shells or stones, rather than ponder the enormous, whole work day.

2 thoughts on “Small Touches”

  1. Such and interesting and powerful string of slices (can you string slices?). One thing that comes through so clearly is your compassion, your interest in your students, your love of your work. Wonderful.

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