Keeping it All Together

When you are a teacher you spend your time trying to keep it all together.  Keep all those plates spinning and still blow noses, tie shoes and see just how wiggly that loose tooth is…  Some days are easier than others and some days you work very hard to keep kids from going over the edge.  For the past two weeks we have been standing a very safe distance from that edge.  When we started our day today I thought it was going to be a pretty calm day.  So many students were sick – I had five out!  With my new class size of 21 I thought we would be in heaven today.  But about 10 minutes into our day I realized I was wrong because someone came in teetering on the edge… he was so close to going over that if I had blown on him too hard it would have been the end of the world.

I worked very hard to keep him functioning.  He was sad because he was absent the day we scooped out pumpkins and he cried (loudly).  He was sad because he didn’t do his math when everyone else was doing it even though we did it together and I wrote everything on the board for them to copy.  He was sad and grumpy because he didn’t like cinnamon and I was going to put cinnamon and sugar on the pumpkin seeds I would cook at home tonight for our snack tomorrow (he didn’t like the salted garlic seeds from today either)…

I worked very hard, and this sweet little guy spent time during two of his recesses doing his work that he didn’t do while everyone else did it. It is not that he isn’t capable – he is very bright and very capable.  I realized, during last recess, part of what was happening and why he was not getting his work done.  He just wanted me.  Just me, all to himself … to sit with him, encourage him, tell him he was making nice numbers and trying so hard, to smile at him and give him a high five when he finished in less than 5 minutes and had plenty of recess left…

So even with 16 kids in our class today I devoted my lunch and recess breaks to this one little guy. He needed it to just be us, because sometimes to keep it all together you just need someone to sit with you and smile…

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