Not that we ever have favorites, but since I taught The Story Teller for 3 years in a row, he has a special place in my heart. Just reading over all my posts on him puts me in a better mood- his sincere honesty mixed with his vivid imagination and his good intentions can't help you do anything but adore him. This year I have one of his little brothers in my non-cat class. The Story Teller is the oldest of 4 children, and all four of them showed up this afternoon to check out the youngest brother's classrooms during our open house.
The boys seemed excited to see me and my Partner-in-Crime. They quickly told us that they'd moved and in their new home they'd had both an earthquake and a hurricane. "Good thing that earthquake wasn't too big" the Story Teller told me, "All of Japan would have been gone." When I mentioned we'd had an earthquake as well (he didn't really move that far away) he looked shocked. "You had one too? Wow, what a big earthquake!"
He then picked his two year old sister up and introduced us to her as "The princess of the family".
Although his mother told me that he talked about me non-stop for years, he didn't seem convinced that his little brother was going to be in good hands. As he pushed his brother toward me to introduce us he said, "Mrs. Lipstick, you're going to know, he doesn't talk. He needs a lot of help." He seemed skeptical that I already understood this and was prepared.
He took his brother into my room and found his name around the classroom, making sure his brother understood how comfortable he would be in the room. He was especially excited that his brother had two classrooms- one with me and one with my Partner-in-Crime. "No way! So lucky!" he repeated.
Later in the visit he told me, "I'm going to ask my teacher to let me come take care of my brother during recess. I'll make sure he's doing his job and I'll play with him the whole time."
"You know what, Story Teller," I said, "I am going to take good care of your brother. You work hard in third grade and I'll work hard at taking care of your brother."
He gave me a skeptical look that only said, "Listen, woman, this is my brother we're talking about." Clearly no one is good enough for his little brother.
I already loved My Story Teller, but now I love him even more. I love that he is so kind, thoughtful, and concerned for his little brother who needs extra help. I love that he wanted to give up his recess time to come help him out. I love the honesty that showed in his face with his concerns for his little brother. He showed far more concern for his brother starting kindergarten than many of the kindergarten parents I met today. Perhaps because I was also a child was mistakenly thought I was my younger brothers' parent, I hold a special place in my heart for siblings who truly take on a care-giver role (in a non-bossy manner). My new student is lucky to have such caring siblings. We'll just have to make sure they begin to understand how to help him become independent...
I'm excited for another year with the story telling family.