The funny thing about today was that it was supposed to be an improvement over yesterday. See, I had graduated from pre-schoolers to kindergärtners! I THOUGHT it would be better. By early afternoon I was missing the pre-schoolers dearly. But, not before I got a gem from one of the kinders.
The task before them was to color a simple book about the letter S. (S is for Sun, S is for Socks, S is for snails, On my Blocks!) I instructed them to use their BEST coloring!
A little girl came up to me and in a conspiratorial whisper, said she REALLY needed to talk to me. I bent down and she said, "I...I am afraid."
O.K., I've heard this before, I think to myself. But, I'm game, "What are you afraid of?"
"I'm afraid to use my best coloring. Because...because..."
"Everybody. You may not be able to...
Ummm, everybody, everybody will not be able to...to..."
"Whaaaaaaaaaaaat, Mercedes! What?"
Won't be able to take it."
OMG, really? This kid is a gem! "So, let me get this straight, you don't want to use your BEST coloring because you don't think your classmates-or I, will be able to take it?"
"We will just be so surprised by how good your coloring is that it might be harmful to us?"
"Yeah." Demure little flutter of eye lashes.
"Yes." In a whisper, and with serious eyes.
I love this kid's ingenuity! She's a five year old genius! Still, I must meet the challenge, gotta keep a straight face. "Well, I think I can handle it. I'm very experienced in viewing pretty things. Still, for safety, I promise not to let anyone of the kids see it. So, will you use your best coloring?"
She thought on that for a moment. "OK," she said in a whisper.
A while later, I notice she is kneeling on the floor, shielding her color page from the kids every time they walked by, and shifting glances all around. I ignore it, simply happy that she is coloring."
I sit at the teacher's desk and start some notes for the teacher. I become aware of a presence. I look up. There she is. "Ahhh, what Mercedes? Are you done?"
"Can I see it? Oh my, that IS pretty super! The sun is yellow! There is NO white from the paper at all! Good job!"
"But don't tell my mom or my dad, please." She said in her continued conspiratorial whisper.
"OK, but you need to do the other pages, alright?"
She headed back to work on it. I walked around and mentioned that she and several others were doing a good job. A few minutes later she comes up. I ask her what. She says, "I was thinking."
"AND???" I ask.
"I might like to show the class my color."
"And you think it might be safe?"
"OK, I suppose we could risk it, but we will have to wait until after lunch, is that OK?"
And so it was. After lunch, which my class was tardy to, she reminded me of my promise. I introduced her and she said, "This is my color." Everyone gave it a glance and mumbled something and then looked back to their own colors. She seemed pleased with herself and They were nonplussed. No one noticed, and life went on.
I love being a teacher.