I can’t stop thinking about a moment that happened at work this afternoon.  My kids were at art and I was in a 4th grade classroom to discuss sibling conferences with my fellow teacher.  As I was walking out, I walked past a girl I know, and she was crying while she was doing her work.  I asked her if she was okay, and she shook her head no.  So I invited her to come hang out with me for the last five minutes of my plan time, and cleared it with her teacher.

On the way back down to my classroom, a former student gave me a cupcake.  Birthday treats, you know.  Back in my classroom, my friend and I sat down at a table and split the cupcake, and she told me all about some friend drama that has been going on.

I remember fourth grade.  Lots of it really sucked.  Especially all the friend crap.

I listened.  I rephrased it back to her.  I sympathized with her position.  I asked her if she knew what she was going to do.  I agreed that it sucks.  Not in those words, of course.

Then we went down to get my kids, and her brother, who is in my class, wondered what she was doing with me.  I just told my kids that I was lonely and I went looking for a friend to hang out with.  🙂  I know they knew I was kidding, but they let it go.

Outside at the end of the day, my friend came and gave me a big hug before she got on the bus.

And I realized…I taught my friend that sometimes running away from your problem makes you feel better for awhile.  I taught her that sugar is the answer.  And I taught her that crying might get you out of class.

But I also taught her that she can trust me to keep her secrets.  And I showed her that someone understands the sucky parts.

And hopefully, I taught her that no one has all the answers, but that we find them anyway and we make it through.

And she taught me that first grade is a wonderful place, where the biggest drama is over who cut in line and who isn’t following the rules and who the special blue pencil belongs to.  🙂
photo credit: hownowdesign via photopin cc


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