Monday, July 2, 2007

my smart cookie

My smart cookie is a child I was blessed to teach this year. As much as she tested the boundaries of our classroom community she was a very bright and creative child. She was a character, certainly, but the more I taught her the more I realized that I would be lucky to be the parent of a child with such an incredible imagination and such high reasoning skills.
She was a true joy to talk to one on one when you got to dive into her world. The connections she made always opened my eyes. You never knew what she would come up with, but you were guaranteed that it would be intelligent.

She hated when I called her a smart cookie. "I'm not smart" she'd giggle. "I'm a silly cookie". Some days she didn't find it that funny. "Don't call me SMART!" she'd demand. "I'm not smart". This broke my heart. She has no idea how bright she is.

The first week of school I got a call from the office telling me that her music teacher had sent her there for spitting on the floor. Going to pick her up I tried to get her version of the story.
"Why did you spit on the music teacher's floor?"
"Because. I was biting my nails."
"Do you always spit on the floor when you bite your nails?" (me, grasping at straws)
"Well, I don't want to keep dirty fingernails in my mouth, do you?"

Later she looked at me and said, "You know what? Now I learned something. I learned that our music teacher doesn't like people to spit on her floor. But we do it at home."

This summer my smart cookie frequently pops back into my head. Her great smile, giggles and occasional stories will stay with me forever.


Jenny said...

I don't think very many people (myself included) would be able to look at this child so positively amidst all the challenges and frustrations. I am so impressed at your ability to see the good and wonderful things about her. It's one piece of what makes you such a fantastic teacher - and will make you a great parent one day too.

Rachel Boyd said...

This child was truly lucky to have a teacher like you that could see through the behaviour to the personality that lay beneath.

All you have to do now, is convince her next teacher of these special qualities ;)