Friday, February 6, 2009

Blending in!

Well, Spot, you are not an easy one to camouflage, but I do think you've reinvented yourself in a way that works! Honestly, if you've seen one 'Spot,' you've seen 'em all, right? Wrong! After you teach for a few minutes...oh, all right, a few years, you start to see patterns. You know, kids start to remind you of other kids you've had before. That little bit of attitude? Yeah...that was Christopher James from three years ago. That really sweet little girl, well usually, thankfully, they are always a part of every group. In fact there are many...boys and girls, really sweet kids.
There are the tiggers too, you know that type too. Those are the kids that live on a pair of springs and they need lots of room to move and operate too. I know a lot about those guys...I had my own home grown version to practice on! But the ones that often leave a lasting impression are not the ones that blend...but the ones that stand out. The kids with unusual quirks and memorable habits always stick to the memory, and not just mine, that's for sure.

Today the teacher on the street was watching while Junie made her way around with the other kids during learning lab. Junie is a really neat kid! She gets a LOT of help to organize herself and to keep her focused, but in the social arena, kids love her differences. She's safe...non-judgmental and the kids know it. Friday is game day, Sorry, Jenga, know. Junie loves to play board games. On Fridays, nobody cares about her differences, she's the same as everyone else. But. All the other kids, often the boys, want to play. The moment the bell rings, Junie snaps back into character and like Cinderella, she's off! Because, bells and schedules are what she's all about. If I go one second overtime at the end of the day, the alarm in Junie sounds and there's h%$ll to pay! Of course, she's any school kid's dream. She pushes the panic button, and the class knows they'll be dismissed on the spot (oops, sorry Spot!). 
Today Junie raced out at lunchtime and I found one of the many notes she always leaves behind:

Dear Presdient Obama,
Can we have recycling bins in every state? and congratulations on being our 44th president.
I was also thinking of using recyable notebooks.
P.S. Recycle my letter when done reading it!

You see my girl is the queen of the hasty recyclable letter. (Yesterday I got a recyclable birthday card and a hug, both of which 
came a minute or two after the bell! Junie is upbeat and positive, full of a zest for life I wish I could bottle and sell. But what's 
most important to know about Junie is all that she brings to my classroom. This diminutive outlier is always on, always paying 
attention and for every question I ask, she's always the first to raise her hand and answer a question...Junie style, sometimes from 
left-field, but many times right on target. The unpredictability leaves everyone wondering. But it also has us all plugging for her...
for in that little stutter, you just never know, there just may come a pearl of wisdom. At the end of the day today, when kids were 
packing up, Junie came up to me and said, "So you're coming to 10-'firty' mass right? Because, um...I'm getting my new rosary beads!" 
Well, I've been to basketball games, baseball games, boy and girl lacrosse games, birthday parties and even a Baptism...and Sunday, 
well Sunday, I'll go see Junie be awarded her brand-new rosary beads. Because these are the very special perks of the job! Happy Friday, Spot!


  1. Junie sounds like a really neat gal. She's very lucky to have a teacher who understands her and has an appreciation for her 'unique' personality. How does she do with other, um, let's say, more 'traditional' staff?

  2. Everybody loves her! I went to church today, and it was her Rosary patch for scouts that she was getting. She's like a little ambassador in the school. She was in the talent show with two other girls with special needs and they danced to a song entitled, "I'm Not Perfect!" She messed up right in the middle of that chorus, but then popped up and kept on going!