we had a new student join us today. she's about 2 feet tall, although she's in first grade, and her personality more than makes up for her height. before i'd even gotten to know her i was in my school secretary's office wanting to see her files to see if i could decipher what might cause a six year old to be just that short, and whether or not she'd be joining my official case load once the normal school year resumes.
back in the classroom it was easy to forget her height. one of our shyer students wrote her a note that said, "dear m. you are very friendly. love, e." i don't think i've ever heard first graders describe one another in such a way, but, for this girl, it my have been all they could say. m. even helped spell friendly for her own note. about two minutes into our class she came running up to tell me her pants were on backwards. after that she became a bundle of energy, touching everything in the room, becoming best friends with all of the girls, and dancing about saying, "i love this school!" the quiet little girl i'd asked to be her buddy during the day was chasing her around the room like i chase my cat, coming close to her whenever she was into something she shouldn't be, but never fast enough to catch her. since most of the time she had a wet paint brush in her hand none of us really wanted to be just that fast.
at one point, when she was covered in paint, i redirected her and she immediately threw her arms up toward me like i was going to pick her up. when i didn't (i'm not talking a little paint... i'm talking covered) she tried to hug me. (i think she may be use to this cuteness thing working).
later, when i was on the carpet helping another student measure his pictures for his scrapbook she skipped over to me, pushed my arms out of the way and plopped herself in my lap. "i love you!" she declared.
at the end of the day i set her with another buddy (one she hadn't worn out yet) to show her where to go. she didn't wait for her buddy and declared, "i'll figure it out" as she skipped down the hallway, all 2 feet of her.
i'm sad that at the end of the week she'll go to another class and i wont get to work with this little one anymore. perhaps checking her file was my own way of hoping i'd get to work with her. however, i'm going to need a good night sleep to keep up with her tomorrow.