I get to be there

The most fantastic thing about my work as a pre-school art instructor is I get to be there to see so many incredible things. I had a student who was so stressed out when he came to my class the first time, I could tell I wasn’t seeing the real him.

On his first day, this child drew a couple of lines then tried to retreat to a corner of the room and hide out away from the other kids by reading a book instead of participating. I just couldn’t let him do that.

I brought him back to our project. (Disruptive scenes, broken crayons, spills, and great effort on both his and my part have been conveniently removed for continuity and brevity.) He showed me the ways to help him. Kids always tell you what they need. He asked me to draw his picture for him. He explained he didn’t think he could do it right. 

This child has above average visual-spatial intelligence, and slightly lagging fine motor skills. He couldn’t stand to see himself make mistakes so he was choosing not to participate at all. …which meant he was loosing out on the chance to improve his fine motor skills.

I drew a couple of goofy, quick sketches in front of him on the paper liner we use for our tables beside his project.  He quickly pointed out all the mistakes I had made in them and started to get a bit worked up and I said to him, “I know I didn’t draw these things perfectly, but I’m having fun and trying out some new things so I’m not going to worry about the mistakes I’ve made. I’m just going to keep on drawing and trying things out.” He picked up his oil pastels and completed the project that day with lots of encouragement.

The final day of our session together he traced a pattern while I held it for him. I pulled out some special scissors and he cut with them while I held his paper and turned it and *he insisted on doing all the cutting himself* because he realized he could. He was so thrilled. This child who used to hide in the corner and try to avoid having to participate actually said, “Look at me, you guys! I’m doing it!”

Ever had one of those days where you just want to run around jumping and cheering?

During our snack/story time this child started making somewhat disruptive gurgling noises in his water cup. I had been meaning to find some special contribution he could bring to our classroom so I put down the story book for a little while and got my own cup of water. We, as a class, gurgled and hummed the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star into our water cups while one little girl sang the words for us. We were awesome! So we played a few more songs before picking up our storybook again. That was a great day. Would have been just ordinary if it weren’t  for the kids.

One Response

  1. You are a better woman than I am. I would have had to thump the kid after he pointed out my mistakes. Girl, you’ve got patience!!

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