Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A hard word

At work today I was called down to help with a child that was having problems in class. When I got to the room she was sprawled out in the middle of the room with desks knocked over and the other students staying well out of the way. The teacher looked like she had just run a marathon.

These situations are a bit tricky because I had no idea what happened or what the teacher wants me to do. I did not have to wonder long because the teacher handed me a discipline slip and a whole pile of work and indicated that this child needed another room to work in. It looked like both the child and the teacher needed a little separation.

I had the student stand up and she followed me out of the room. She sobbed quietly and sniffed all the way to the other end of the building. I set her up at the big meeting table just outside my office and I looked through the packet of work the teacher had handed me. It was spelling word activities and I asked the girl what she wanted to work on first. She worked quietly with me checking on her every few minutes. I brought her tissues and glue and scissors and she finished her work at a fairly quick pace. Once she was done I asked why she was so upset. She explained that she wanted to see what her friend looked like with a mustache so she attempted to write on his face. The friend was opposed to the idea of facial hair on his 6 year old self. This caused the teacher to lower my students "color card" from green to yellow, which made her mad enough to push the teacher, who then lowered the card to red and then all hell broke loose.

I talked to the little girl about choices and feelings and hands to self. All the things I know 6 year olds are starting to understand and need to learn. One of her spelling words had been "happy" and she wrote: "I like when my teacher is happy." So I used that to launch into what makes a teacher happy. She decided to write the teacher a note. The note read, in large letters: "I am sorry. I will be good" She wanted to spell everything correctly and used her finger between the words for spacing. It was painstaking slow for only seven words. As she tried to sound out the word sorry she looked at me and said, "Sorry is a hard word" I sat there thinking about it and had to agree. I have written "I'm sorry" many times.... it is always a hard word, even for those of us older than six. :)


  1. This is a great story! I know exactly how that lttle girl feels...sorry is a hard word!