(a little background:) I teach preschool-8th grade music, as well as lead worship, so I have lots of varying experiences throughout each day!
A couple of weeks ago, a first grader walked into class with a squished, mushy, light blue glob of something between his fingers. He walked directly to me (while I’m finishing laying out instruments, getting the CD ready, welcoming other students, etc) and says, “Here Mr. Gehrke!” Another thing to keep in mind before you rush to any judgments…kids hand junk to me all of the time. If they find a paper clip on the floor, 4 feet from their actual spot, they have to let me know and hand it to me. Thank you for making that a priority over the amazing lesson I have planned for you today. No, I don’t say that, but it’s fun to say in my head while I actually smile and say, “Thank you, can I see you singing with us in your spot?” 🙂
Back to the little kid and the mushy chunk of whatever…
He hands it to me and I say, “Ohh! Thank you for picking up and I throw it in the trash.” Big. Mis.take.
He shrugs his shoulders, tries to shake it off, but I see the eyes turning red. Now I’ve done it!
I say, “Hang on, come here, can you tell me about that.” He says, “My mom and I made cotton candy and I brought you some.”
I picked it out of the trash (emptied the night before, so it actually was a clean, new bag, thankfully!) and I set it on a tissue and told him I’d look forward to trying it later.
Man, I’m glad I noticed his reaction and had a chance to talk with him. It just reminds me of how many times in life we quickly rush through a situation thinking we know what’s going on before getting all of the information. It doesn’t matter the age, we all do it to each other very often. I hope I do better at really listening to kids and adults to know them better and what they have to share with me!