Several days ago, I was approached by a first grade young man who displayed his most treasured possession, a book about Komodo dragons. He was fascinated by the creatures and returned twice to point out another characteristic.
Fortunately, I saw this as a terrific opportunity and looked him squarely in the eyes. Here’s what I said:
“You know, it’s clear that you really love this animal and I can understand why. How about if I call you Komodo today and it will be our secret why I’m calling you that.”
His eyes doubled in size and his grin, complete with a gap where front teeth will be, confirmed that this was going to be a good deal. After assuring him that I was serious, he bounced away and returned to scrutinizing his book.
Throughout the day he approached me, smiling and making certain that he was sitting as closely as possible when the class was on the carpet. We maintained our secret all day and during the time we played a game that produced candy rewards, he disclosed his favorite candy. Imagine his surprise to discover that his choice was the same as mine.
At the end of this delightful day, everyone received candy and I produced his special treat that I had been holding after I discovered it at the bottom of my bag. His face was radiant as I placed it in his hand.
A close friend to whom I told the story advised that he will never forget what we shared, and I hope that she’s right. In the interim, please understand why I’m an educator and not a sub, substitute or temporary teacher, all of which are inaccurate. Be certain that as long there are children for whom I have responsibility, they will be my treasures. Shalom.