"Magic Clay" ~ it is often the small things in life that bring us the most joy!

Every so often we have an experience in our lives that cause us to take pause and reflect. This week I had one of those moments and I feel the need to share it with everyone. It was a moment that made me feel so good to be in the position I am in as an educator. If you still have passion for what you do, then it won't be hard for you to relate to this story. Some days are better than others, but hopefully this story brings a smile to your face today. :-)

Below is the note I wrote to my fellow colleagues and educators:

STRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's all around us, it's hard to get away from, and it always seems to be in our faces. Just when you think you are getting ahead, SPLAT! MORE STRESS comes knocking at your door. Does this sound like the kind of year you are having so far? Well I think it's safe to say we are all in the same boat feeling like we only have one oar at times. However, Thursday I witnessed a glimmer of hope...a true fell good moment if you will. And surprisingly, this moment came from the attitude and words of a child.

I have new student who pretty much was refusing to go to art class...and I mean she was refusing! Knowing how much she liked being in art class and was really trying my best to reason with her to snap out of it and go! Well, as she continued to hide her head in a bean bag I had a moment of clarity. This was a job for a child to handle. So a "ran" to the art room on a mission to find a friend who could talk my kiddo into coming to art. The always flexible, Mrs. Uhlig, had no problem stopping her class to ask for volunteers to assist with my student. You wouldn't believe how many little hands shot up with excitement. Who knew I would find my hero of the day in a K-1 art class...Little Miss Shannon. As we walked down the hallway, Shannon was telling how she once was afraid to be with big groups and meet new people too. When we got into my room I took her to my student who still had her head buried in the bean bag with covers. My attempts to talk to her were still met with refusals....so now it was Shannon's turn. "Alexa, do you want to come to art class with me? We are playing with clay...and it's MAGIC CLAY!" These exciting words from another child's mouth resulted in Alexa getting up almost immediately and returning to my room 45 min later eager to show me her bag of "magic clay".

Later that day I went into Mrs. Binford's room to give Shannon a Whisker Wink and let the class know how grateful I was that so many of them were willing help Alexa and be such a good friend to her. Well, I didn't say much at first because as soon as I got in front of the class I started crying and Mrs. Binford had to step in and explain to the class why I was there. I managed to get some words of praise out, but I think my tears spoke louder than my words.

I can not express how much it means to me when I see my students doing things that everyone else is doing and when their peers are able to be a part of those successful moments. Moments like the "magic clay" don't happen that often and when they do it's a pretty big deal for everyone. I feel so grateful to be surrounded by children who don't hesitate to help and by a staff members who are flexible, caring, and understanding of ALL students. So, I hope you read this story and take time to think about all the "magic clay" moments in your life that make you continue to want to do what you do best....TEACH.

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the strength to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Angelina Strum, M.Ed., M.A., NBCT
Sp.Ed. Teacher for Students with Autism

Lovely story

Thanks for sharing your story! I teach at the middle school level and have seen some wonderful things coming from that age level as well when it comes to working with special needs kids. And, as a mother of a 10 year old with autism, I always cry when I see other kids taking the time to help him, and simply be his friend. There is so much good out there and it's so important to share that, so thank you again.

Thanks Daina! I am still

Thanks Daina! I am still thinking about that moment and it helps get me through those "extra" stressful days. Just yesterday I again seeked out another child to "help me" with one of my students and it worked like a charm. Children speak the same lanugage regardless of what their circumstances are...it's a beautiful thing when it all comes together. It's a good reminder as adults that we don't and can't always have the answers and we don't/can't always control everything. The many successes we do have are the result of thinking outside of the box and I know you can relate to this!