I have not been at work most of the week. Being sick is not fun but it gives you the rest I think most of us never take time to do. Anyway, I thought I would type up a story about a past job.
Twenty-five years ago I was working at Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo, Ms. My job was a preschool teacher for a class of three year olds. this story makes me smile now when I think about it but back then it was very stressful.
One morning I came in to work in a pretty good mood. Some of my class was sitting in the hall with another preschool teacher. I told her I was going to my room for a minute before bringing my class back. Once in the room I noticed the window was open and there was a chair in front of it. I went over to remove the chair and shut the window. On the window’s edge was a doll barely hanging on. I laughed and removed the doll but before I turned around I noticed a nice big pile of toys on the concrete below the window.
My day began right then and there. I looked around the room and realized a little person had been in the room and I think they might have left me this nice little surprise. So I calmly went to the teacher who was watching my class. I asked her if she had missed anyone from my group before I came in. She said no, everyone was here and accounted for. Then she gave me that look of a deer in the head light, like you knew she was thinking about what she had just told me.
I was not shocked when she told me that two of my young men did go to the bathroom for a few minutes. I looked at the two boys and asked them if the bathroom was the only place they visited and one shook his head up and down and one shook his head from side to side. “I was wondering if you might have seen two little men in our room throwing toys out the window?”
Both boys stopped shaking their heads and looked at the teacher who let them go to the bathroom. Now if you was a student in my room you might could get away with somethings but a lie would put you in our, thinking chair. The thinking chair was my version of the timeout chair.
A timeout chair usually got me and the student in more trouble that a thinking chair. The timeout chair was there for you to watch as others played and you sat there for sometime by yourself. The thinking chair was a chair you went to and had to tell the story to your teacher about what happen and why you thought it was a good idea to do whatever you did, that was obviously not okay.
Anyway back to the toys on the concrete, they needed attention. Both boys said they were the two little men who threw the toys out the window. I sent them and the class to the room with my assistant. The boys went to the thinking chair while I went out to pick up the toys.
I came back in the room with the toys in a basket and my preschool Director behind me. She had seen me picking up the toys outside and lovingly told me that maybe I should have had the boys to pick up the toys. I agreed after I thought about it. She said something to the boys and then left the room for me to talk to the boys.
Before I talk to them, this was not one of my best days but I was trying, I took the basket of toys to the window, open the window, and pitched every toy back out the window. Some of the children who had no idea what had happen stood still looking at me. One little girl started crying because I had pitched her favorite doll out. Before I could console her a parent came through my classroom door with her late child. She came straight to me and asked if I was okay and I said sure, why? She said, “Well I was driving by and I saw you throwing toys out the window!”
“Guilty as charged,” I told her.
I went on to tell her all that had happened and she began to laugh. During our conversation my two little boys in the thinking chairs were getting restless and you never give them that much time! The mother noticed I had left our conversation and was fix-stated on the boys. She left the room quickly wishing me a better day.
Three people learned lessons on that morning, me being one of the three. The boys learned they needed to do as they are told for their own safety and I learned that everything is a teaching moment for the young and old. I needed to always remember those teaching moments and not miss any of them.
So I wonder was those two young men sitting in the thinking chair thinking they had got away with picking up all the toys they had pitched out the window? Not when there was a special woman, that I happen to work for making sure all her children were learning many lessons of life.
Really miss those days sometimes.