Last week I had the great opportunity to work with a Kindergarten student who was beginning to have a melt down.It was during a transition time and he wasn’t ready to transition. I happened to be popping in to say hello. The teacher was relieved to see me and redirected the student my way. She suggested we look for new books for his book box. I have worked with this student before to help him reset and refocus. I knew he was a “Star Wars Expert.” His teacher also knows how interested and excited he is about Star Wars.
As soon as (I will call this student Bill) Bill and I started looking through the basket filled with Star Wars books, his eyes lit up. We laid out all of the Star Wars Books. Bill selected three books. I asked if he wanted to read with me and he wildly shook his head yes. We had a great discussion about the force, galaxies, and good and bad characters. He found sight words and we acted out scenes with sound effects of light sabers and droids. Bill looked closely at small details in the pictures. He inferred motives and elaborated and empathized with characters. Most important this normally withdrawn student was shining and I was enjoying EVERY second learning from him!
I asked Bill many questions. One question I asked was,”What is the force?” Bill scrunched his eyebrows and his mouth fell open in disbelief that I even asked this question.He matter-of-factly answered “It’s an energy field created by all living things.It keeps the galaxy together.” “You really are a Star Wars Expert,” I replied in amazement.
The soothing sounds of chimes echoed from the classroom signaling the end of readers workshop and the start of recess. He didn’t want to stop sharing his expertise on Star Wars but it was time to go. Bill had recess and I had other classrooms to visit. He gave me a hug and his departing words were, “May the Force be With You.”
As I walked away my heart was full and I was grateful to have been present in that moment. A moment to create a small opportunity for a student to have voice and choice, to share his passion and expertise. A small opportunity with a large impact.