On the days that I work in the schools my current workspace is in the sensory room of the elementary school that I spend most of my time in. This works out well because almost all of the children on my caseload make their way into this room at some point during the day which allows me the opportunity to observe and interact with them.
Yesterday, I happened to be in the room when one of the boys was working on a pin art snowflake. He was working very hard and I mentioned that I knew another way to make a snowflake. He responded with, “you do?” I then suggested that I could show him how when he came back to the room later for his individual work time. He thought that was a good idea. After spending my whole morning reading reports I thought it sounded like a good idea as well. I told him I would meet him back in the room a little later.
When I returned to the room later he was working on his spelling words with his aide so I told him I would wait for him to finish that first before we made snowflakes. Once he finished his spelling I talked with him about the things we would need and then suggested he help me locate them. After gathering the materials we sat down and we had a great experience sharing conversation about how many times we should fold the paper and then he watched intently as I showed him the first shape I was going to cut. We then spent the next 10 minutes just having a really nice back and forth interaction about the shapes we were cutting and where on the paper we were cutting. When I was finished cutting I opened my snowflake to show him what it looked like. He studied it for a minute and then pointed to a spot where he thought there should be another shape. At first I said no I liked it the way it was, but the more we talked about it I decided I would add one more shape. All during this time he continued to work on cutting shapes on his paper (many small shapes all in a row, but I am sure given time he would have filled the paper with cut out shapes). When our time was up I suggested that he could save his snowflake and finish it tomorrow. He thought that was a good idea and even told his aide that she could use the extra piece of paper to make a snowflake with him tomorrow.
I have to tell you this whole experience was so much fun for me and so affirming. I went slow, used experience sharing language and just had fun and wow did I get a ton back. It was great! I am sure this is the same feeling you as parents get when you have an experience like this with your own child. It was just what I needed after a morning filled with reading reports. I was able to see all the potential that this child has.
I didn’t want anything, I didn’t have any real expectations I just thought it would be fun to make snowflakes together. Wow did I get so much more, a truly enjoyable experience the confirmed the power of experience sharing communication and slowing down.
Talk to you soon,