Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sisters (and brothers).

I love getting to know siblings. In fact, I love it so much that I think I annoy some siblings by constantly mentioning their... siblings. I also often call same-gender siblings the wrong names, even if they are years apart and look nothing alike. I usually default to the older sibling's name, to the chagrin of second-borns.

So it was refreshing to have one of my quietest younger sisters (first grade) tip-toe up to me and whisper:

"Where does my sister sit?"
"She sits right here, at the yellow table."

Big smile spreads over her face as she retreats to her seat with this new information about her fifth grade sister. She had never voluntarily told me anything. Ever. She is one of those extremely attentive and engaged, but silent, students. It seems like she might be peeking out from under her shell, and I love that. And of course I love the sisterly love.

And earlier in the day, one of my most challenging students (in terms of behavior) stopped by of his own accord (I never thought I'd see the day!) to chat (!!!) about his little sister who just started pre-K, who will have her first art class with me on Friday. He (a fifth grader) is really excited for me to meet her (?!?!?). I've spent hours restructuring, rethinking, meditating on my behavior management poise and practices to accommodate this student. And now he's stopping by for a chat. When he wouldn't even look me in the eye as he derailed my classes (among other things) last year.

AMAZING DAY. And I gotta think, I must be doing something right.


  1. That's so sweet! Isn't it great when "those students" finally come around? High school is similar. I had a kid last year who made me want to tear my hair out, and this year he stopped by to tell me he missed me- that I was his favorite! Despite how much agita he gave me, it still made me feel good!

    I'm totally guilty of the sibling name-switch, too. Last year I had Lou, this year I have Phil. They're identical twins. NOT! FAIR! The first day of school I said, "Phil, I'm sorry, but for so many reasons you will almost always be Lou." He laughed, thank goodness!

  2. Sometimes we don't know - or don't find out until months/years later - what effect we have on our students. I think it's important to remember (during those times when we are pulling our hair out by the roots!) that we may be one of the few positive adult influences in a young person's life! You've obviously made a difference to at least one young man, congratulations!