Wednesday, September 9, 2009

09 September -- Second day of school

I read to a Headstart class one day each month. Today was my first time for this Fall at the Angela Aguilar Center, their second day of school. I haven't spent a lot of time around three-year-olds lately (Everett lives too far away and is, after all, only two) but I suspected it would be a challenging day.

I heard the wails before I got the classroom door open. Brian, just three years old (or possibly not quite three) was standing in front of his cubby, where his little pack of possessions had been hung up. He was sobbing steadily, hopelessly, without looking anywhere else.

I had set up myself on my chair, with the other dozen or so three-year-olds sitting solemnly on the carpet. I passed around the llama puppet. Brian, now carrying his package but tearless, padded out from the cubbies and toward the door to the playground. A teacher's aide redirected him toward the carpet. Brian started to wail. He has a powerful voice.

The teacher's aide carried him back to the cubbies.

I read the first story. Koary, toward the back, started to cry. Another teacher's aide removed her. Brian wandered around the corner, took a good look, and increased the volume.

Loyal, an African-American boy who appears older than the others, or at least is more interested in talking to me, reached into his pocket and pulled out a long piece of orange fabric. Was it a sash? It appeared to be a necktie.

"What shall we do with this necktie?" I asked. Loyal shrugged.

A mother in the back was holding the llama puppet. We decided she should put the necktie on the puppet. It seemed to be just fine with Loyal.

We got through the stories and the song. I got ready to leave.

As I opened the classroom door, Brian, sensing an escape route, picked up his package and headed out. The teacher's aide captured him.

Poor tyke. His mother wouldn't be picking him up for two more hours.

Poor teachers' aides. But after all, it's just the second day of school. I wonder what will be happening in October?


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