Friday, February 25, 2011

I heart my job

In the midst of the excitement of walking around the bright red fire truck that came to visit for fire safety week one of my little ones exclaimed, "When I grow up, I want to be a FIRE TRUCK!"

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Magical is too sick to return to school this year but partner-in-crime and I agreed to deliver his home-bound services. We take turns going to his house every night to read books, work on patterning skills, counting, writing his letters, and all the other fun kindergarten activities he's missing out on.

Yesterday we got to the end of a Piggy and Gerald book and Magical was in a great mood. He'd giggled over all Piggy & Gerald's silly antics, predicted what would happen next, and gasped when his predictions came true. I turned the last page to reveal the end pages, where, if you are familiar with Mo Willem's books, there is always one picture of the Pigeon hidden amongst the other illustrations. Most kids LOVE finding the Pigeon in Mo's non-pigeon books and act as though they just broke a cryptic code for the CIA when they spot the Pigeon where he doesn't belong.

Not Magical.

Magical waved his finger at the pigeon and shouted, "That LIAR bird!  THAT SNEAKY LIAR BIRD!  I HATE THAT BIRD.  I HATE HIM.  He doesn't go there. He's always where he doesn't belong. He needs to stay in HIS OWN BOOKS!  SNEAKY LIAR BIRD"

Magical's mother, who had no idea who the pigeon was or why Magical was so upset looked horrified. I quickly closed the book to remove the offending bird from sight and asked Magical if he'd like me to bring a Pigeon book next time so he could see the Pigeon where he belonged.

"Yes. He needs to go back to where he belongs." he agreed solemnly, and we quickly moved on to our next activity that did not involve any sneaky-liar pigeons.

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In the midst of a very exciting game of Around the World Pixie could not stay in her seat. She bounced up and down so much that I ended sitting behind her to give her gentle reminders to stay seated. She responded to my prompts immediately but would quickly forget and would try to scurry across the carpet to see the flash cards on the other side.
The little girl sitting beside us whispered to me, "Mrs. Lipstick, it's like you're training a puppy."

I was initially horrified by this observation. What am I doing to poor Pixie that makes another child think of training a puppy??  But the more I thought about it she's kind of right. Pixie is just SO EXCITED by everything that she gets ahead of herself. She wants to do the right thing, but she forgets. It probably is like being with an excitable puppy who wants to please but is so overcome with excitement that she needs reminders.

Regardless, I'm going to carefully watch how I interact with Pixie to be sure it's not dog-training-like. I'm not using any method with her that I wouldn't use with another child, it's just a lot more frequent. We're not doing ABA or rewarding her with treats or anything that makes me think of puppy-training. Still, I absolutely do not want to be giving the other students the impression that Pixie is a pet, pet-like, or needs to be trained like one.


Anonymous said...

A few years back I had a student who really reminded me of a puppy in the same way you are describing... and thinking of him this way-- as a puppy who just didn't know any better-- allowed me to forgive him and work to teach him the behaviors that he needed to learn to get along in school. Ever since that point, I have thought of those first six weeks of school as "puppy training" time for all of my first graders!

magpie said...

Careful, that female side is creeping in a bit.
You're looking too hard at it and taking comments to ♥.

Relax a bit and laugh with the child's brilliant observation.
It's like that show with the ending; Sit Boo Boo Sit. Good Dog!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to check out your other posts about Magical. I love his totally unexpected opinion about the Pigeon, hiding out at the end of every Elephant and Piggie book. My class does the expected: "The Pigeon!!!" they squeal. Every. Single. Time.