Second look February 07 2016
My oldest son had the most wonderful imagination, creating stories and generating ideas that were elaborate beyond his young years. He loved to watch what went on around him as though it was a movie or play being performed solely for his enjoyment. In some ways he still is like that.
When he started school, his teacher was due to retire when that year ended, and no longer seemed to have the patience needed for a young energetic class.
One day early in the year the teacher, exasperated with his day dreaming, decided to teach him a lesson. She moved his desk to the corner at the front of the room, facing toward the class. He was told he wasn’t allowed to participate or do the work. In fact, he wasn’t allowed to do anything.
When school got out, he was so excited to tell me how he was given this reward. He didn’t know what he had done to deserve it but he must have done something very good. For the entire afternoon he was allowed to sit and watch the other kids work, and day dream to his heart’s content.
My son had never heard of time out or sitting in the corner. He was such an easy child that a word, a look, a snap of the fingers was usually all the correction he needed. So it didn’t even occur to him that the teacher was trying to discipline him.
(Perhaps I’m the same. When I was just a little older than my son was in this story, every time I went up or down the stairs to our rec room, I flipped the light switch on and off several times. Exasperated at my inability to break the habit, my parents made me to stand in the stairwell and turn the light on and off 200 times. Then I was allowed back downstairs. When I came back up I switched the light on and off multiple times as usual. I didn’t realize I had been punished.)
What did I do when my son told me about his most exceptional day? I hugged him, congratulated him and prepared a celebration dinner. He was so very proud.
The next day, when we headed out to school, I reminded him to pay attention to the teacher and do his work. Maybe he would earn another reward.
Like many things we encounter, we think we know what it means when we see a child seated in a corner in a school classroom. We assume we understand. But if we take a second look, we may be rewarded with a different perspective.
You can see my “Second look” parted-square dish here. If you take a second look, you will find a few subtle flowers hiding within.
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