In the second plane the child will become aware of herself, of how she looks and how she feels others will perceive her. This is a fascinating part of my job because the child’s reasoning, local mind is exploding with the sense of justice, the need to be heard and to be treated fairly is an unexplainable craving the child has and in the early stages she will not know that’s what it is she’s looking for. Truth is all humans just want to be heard, this is especially true for children. Today in a conversation among students some of them came up with this analogy that I had to share because no adult would ever come up with this. This is how the student tried explaining exclusion to me:
“It’s like you have a sleepover party and your mom made your favorite pie for you to share with everyone at the party. And we all got such big pieces of the pie that there wasn’t enough left for the person who was last to join, there are barely any crumbs. And then the last person who joins gets upset because she didn’t get any pie. When meanwhile it’s not her house and she doesn’t know there’s more pie so she thinks she’s never getting any pie. And then she goes off and cries about it without telling anyone that she wanted some pie. And she could have gotten pie if she said something because there was more pie she just didn’t know about it because she didn’t tell anyone, she just thinks she’s getting the crumbs, and that’s not fair because someone should have offered her pie, then she’d know.”
After my student finished explaining this to me I was so happy that she’d already figured out that the lesson was not just that anyone was being excluded it was simply that no one had asked the last one to join and she didn’t feel wanted, but that from now on everyone should be invited.
Maybe this is just from being a teacher, but I sat there longer than I should have talking this out with my students and beaming from the inside that we were communicating in an open way and allowing them to feel safe enough to say anything to each other.
In a short amount of time the children in my room have invited me into their hearts and the trust me. Today at one point one of my students put his arm around me and said “I really like today.” I told him I really liked today too, and I meant it.