End of the second last day of school.
Kid comes up to a couple of us having a conversation. He’s got his backpack on and is on the way to catch his bus.
Says to us something along the lines of “When I first got here I was exploding all the time, like right away, like every day! And now I don’t!” He just smiled and walked away. Left us standing there ~ wondering where that came from. Out of the mouths of babes.
It got me thinking.
And then I arrived home, checked my mailbox and found my copy of The Register from OPC and started flipping through it. Something caught my attention ~ an article about how kind and caring adults can impact kids more than we know.
Which got me thinking of Fullan’s Cs ~ and so I went back to this illustration by Sylvia Duckworth (which I love by the way) and I started making connections to the kid who doesn’t explode so much anymore. Why is that? What changed for him? How was he so self-aware that he could articulate the change he was feeling? What is going on here?
I looked a little more closely at the Cs ~ through the lens of that kid ~ who really has changed the way he operates in his world ~ from 9 to 3:15 at least.
Some of his needs were a bit different than many of the kids we serve. And some of them were just like every other kid in our building. But for the most part, he needed out of the box thinking to help him be successful. He needed us to be creative in the way we structured his day. He needed to be heard. He needed us to let him communicate his needs. He needed us to listen. He needed to learn to listen back. He needed help solving problems. He needed us to teach him to do that. He needed to play. He needed to have fun learning. He needed opportunities to collaborate with his peers so that he could feel confident and successful. He needed to feel respected. He needed to be taught to respect. He need to take lots of breaks. He needed a safe space to do that. He needed to eat at times that were different than the times dictated by the bell.
I like to think we gave him what he needed this year. And we’ll give him more of what he needs next year.
So thank you kid ~ for sharing all that – in your simple way. And walking away with a smile. You left us all smiling too.