Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Teacher of the Year

Where can I nominate someone for Teacher of the Year?

Olivia’s teacher, Mrs. H, has gone above and beyond so far this year. When we last spoke, I suggested that I send a baggie of candies to school with Olivia. These treats were to be hidden in Mrs. H’s desk and at the end of the day, if she’d had more good moments than bad, Olivia would get to pick a piece of candy for the bus ride home.

During our conversation in which the candies came up, I mentioned earlier that last year Olivia was offered the option of a doodle pad on the corner of her desk and when she felt the urge to doodle or scribble on her worksheets, she should do the writing on the pad.

Olivia hated this idea because none of the other kids in her class had a doodle pad and her having one made her different. Olivia knows she’s different but she doesn’t enjoy having it made clear to the rest of the world on a constant basis.

Mrs. H listened to me. She heard me.

Last Friday Olivia came home and asked me if I thought she was the only kid in her class who gets Jolly Ranchers if she’s had a good day.

I said, “Well, since we sent in the Jolly Ranchers, yes, you’re the only kid who gets them.”

She shook her head and told me, “No! Mrs. H brought in a big jar of Jolly Ranchers of her own and EVERYONE gets one if they have a good day. She put them on the counter instead of on her desk and we all get to pick one when we have a good day.”

Oh my heart! This teacher took my idea for reinforcing good behavior in Olivia and made it about the whole class. She took a moment, saw a need and took away the possibility that Olivia would feel singled out by making Jolly Ranchers a reward for EVERYONE who has a good day.

This is Mrs. H’s first year teaching third grade. She was Olivia’s KinderKids teacher (pre-kindergarten) and I wasn’t sure at the beginning of the year how this would go because Olivia never really connected with Mrs. H back in KinderKids. But Mrs. H is going above and beyond this year and I’m so grateful to her for making the effort to not only help Olivia have better days but also to help Olivia feel like she’s no different from anyone else in her class.

What more could I ask from a teacher?


Shane Johnson said...

This just made me cry. My daughter is def in one ear and I know it is different. But its the word different that I know she understands and overcomes everyday. Thank you for this. Myself as a father I try to smash any idea of difference and always try to show her beauty and uniqueness.

Julie said...

This almost brought me to tears. I love that and anytime someone loves our babies as much as we do...it's a jolly rancher kind of day.