Young children innocently pick up stones and either chuck them or hide them away in their pocket. Our sons chose their favorites over the years in our driveway or on hikes. Sometimes they would leave it as a special gift on the kitchen counter and I would proudly place them in the window as a show piece. Other times my little boys left them deep in their jeans pockets and I would find them on laundry day.
There is a meaningful quote (taken from wisdomquotesandstories.com) that says when a child gives you a rock, take it with gratitude for it may be the only thing they have to give and they’ve chosen you to give it to.
Over the years a few small dirtied hands have clasped mine and religiously slipped a rock in mine, walking in from recess. It really is an honor, a simple gift they could give. I placed them gently in the folds of my pocket with the hopes that I’ll never not love this vocation.
A few years back a first grade boy gave me a special rock. It meant the world to me because working with him was a challenge. I would take him a few times a week to work on reading skills, mostly phonological awareness. Sometimes it was tough and trying because he really had no interest in learning and no matter what fun activity I tried, he bucked the whole time like a wild mustang.
When he gave me his present we gained an unspoken understanding. I knew learning to read would never be easy for him but I had to try to help anyway I could. This meaningful gift touched my heart and even helps me today, as a reminder to not give up on children. I am grateful for this gift that will see me through my career.
This child moved away the next year and I was sorry to see him go. My co-worker and I each gave him a remember me sticker and we both had his precious rocks. We held back our tears when he said goodbye to us. Now his family has moved back in the area and he goes to middle school in a neighboring town. Like all the school children, I wish that child all my best in his high school career and life.
My little flat smooth rock sits on my kitchen shelf as a testament of love for the little moments with students. It serves as my remembrance of working with children and how I grateful I am for the honor.
The rock on my shelf is also a little reminder that you have to remain patient with a steadfast determination when working with children. Flexibility is a must because if a child isn’t having a great day or if events are happening at home that he or she need to talk about, then that may end up being the agenda for the day. (Especially if it’s a one on one group) Other times the child may generate his own cut up sentence so he has his say but is still working.
School is their home away from home and you have to get it right, for they are always watching what you do. Knowing this weighs on me, for what if I’m having a bad day? Then I can’t show it because I still have a job to do. Despite this pressure, it’s the best job in the world and in my opinion, the most fulfilling.
All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤️