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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Day 11 - Looking for the Silver Lining

"Mrs. Sheldon, I know where I go today (after school)!  I go to extended day!"

What I felt like saying: Yes, A.  You go to extended day after school every day!
What I said: "Great job remembering A!  You do go to extended day today!"
Why: This child is as sweet and charming as can be but she doesn't remember things very easily.  This child didn't know which bus to ride (which never changes) until November.  This child didn't know her group number in the classroom (which never changes) until December.  She has been going to the extended day program for two weeks and already she remembers that she needs to go!  This is something to celebrate!  It may be a bit annoying that she has to tell me every day, but it's pretty great that she remembers.

"I was pretending to be a dog and I had to go to the bathroom."  (The response I got when I asked why she was lifting her leg and making the /ssssssss/ sound - why did I bother asking??)

What I felt like saying: Are you kidding me?  What are you thinking?
What I said: "L, that isn't appropriate at school.  You may pretend to be a puppy but you may not pretend you need to use the bathroom."
Why: I could have yelled or given a consequence but I didn't.  This child often has trouble playing with others without saying really mean things to them.  She also has trouble keeping her hands to herself most of the time.  So, I didn't like this particular choice, but she was playing well with the other kids.  This is something to celebrate!  I might not have been perfect, but it was pretty great to see her playing.

"I stayed up too late last night.  I'm really tired today Mrs. Sheldon."

What I wanted to say: Of course you are.  I mean, just yesterday afternoon I spoke to your mother about how tired you always are and she swore that you were always in bed by 8 every night like clockwork (her words, not mine).  Why wouldn't you stay up late after having that conversation?
What I said: "I'm sorry you are tired today.  What happened that kept you up so late?"  (He says he was reading a lot of books...I'm not so sure.)
Why: Even though I was completely irritated that she would do this to her child after just hearing about how tired he always is at school, I know it isn't this little guy's fault.  He can't help it if his parents don't make the best decisions.  Unfortunately, it impacts his learning and school performance and there were plenty of examples of that throughout the day.  However, there were also moments when he was trying hard and giving his best effort.  This is something to celebrate!  He can't help that he is tired, but he still had good moments during the day and it couldn't have been easy for him.

I wasn't sure what I was going to write about today.  I kept thinking about all these little things that seemed insignificant.  As I thought through them, I couldn't help but notice that instead of focusing on the negative (and there was plenty of opportunity) I instead focused on the positive and looked for the celebration.  I don't always do a good job of that, but today I did.  This is something to celebrate!  My students don't need another negative example in their lives, they need positive examples and today I was that.


  1. And-"This post is something to celebrate"! I enjoyed hearing the varied commentaries for each behavior, Robin. You're so right, if you look on the sunny side, you'll find one!

  2. I loved hearing that inner voice and how determined you are to keep it positive, Robin. You are a phenomenal kdg teacher. xo

  3. Ha... I loved this! There are so many times I have to fight myself to not say the sarcastic response to my students. Sometimes I just can't help myself and the sarcasm seeps out. My only question is apparently the little girl that thinks she is a puppy doesn't realize that only boy puppies lift their legs not girl puppies.. hehehe!

  4. I really enjoyed your post today. There are countless times each day where we make those mental choices to say something positive or negative. I also let the sarcasm slip out (but with 5th graders they are starting to get it- wouldn't work so well with the littles :) ). And luckily for you that little girl was just pretending to pee!! :)