A Teacher Offers Special Time

chalk boardAt our child care center, it’s the beginning of the year, and we have three year olds who are totally new to the program. They are so little and so sweet. One girl has been crying long and hard every morning since she came. She wants her Mommy. We have listened to her as best we can.

I wanted to help her feel more connected at the center, so one morning this week, when she was playing outside, I came up to her and offered Special Time. I said, “I want to do whatever you want to do. What do you want to do?” We had been having the children lie on the pavement while we draw chalk outlines of their bodies earlier in the week, so she immediately said, “Lie down! I want to draw your body!” The pavement was hot that day, so I said, “Oh my gosh! It’s going to be hot! Do you really want me to lie down?” And she said, “Lie down!”

So I playfully (but also somewhat truthfully) yelped as I got down on the pavement, “Oh! It’s so hot! Please hurry!” I was holding my arms and legs close. All the 17 children started to gather around and they all began giggling and laughing. The more I yelped, the more they laughed. The Special Time child ordered me to stretch out my arms, then to stretch out my legs, and she very slowly drew around my body. I kept playfully urging her to hurry, and the children kept laughing.

It was a big event that day, seeing their teacher down on the pavement, wanting to get up, and their classmate “in charge.” I finally got up when she was done. You should have seen their faces! They were so happy, so elated, so full of life! My Special Time child felt great—she is now doing well at our center.

– A Parenting by Connection teacher

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