I TOLD you Olay was good
In an earlier post, I mentioned that I had 2 big talkers in class already--P. being one of them. But what I didn't mention is that P. is also educably mentally impaired, which means that his IQ officially classifies him as retarded. (Frankly, he shouldn't be at our school, because as a charter school we don't have the resources to help him, but his parents refuse to admit that he's anything but "slow.") He can carry on a regualar conversation, play with other kids, etc--but mentally and academically, he's gone about as far as he can go. He's a good kid, though--he just has no impulse control at all, hence the talking. (He's also, quite literally, the size of a high-school football player.)
So yesterday, the kids were working on an essay (so I can assess where each is in their writing). P. did a better job than I expected, frankly--he's definitely not writing at even a 5th grade level but he knows what he's doing. I had him by me and was prompting him at certain points when he'd get stuck or start to get off task.
At one point, he sadly said to me, "Miss K, I'm the only 12 year old in the class."
Well, I knew from my roster that this actually wasn't the case (I have the low 5th grade class again, per my request, and so a good number of kids have been held back at least once). I assured him, "Actually, P., no you're not. There's someone else who is 12, too."
"There IS?" he asked, his eyes brightening and a grin spreading across his face. "Who?"
"Oh, no you don't," I told him, smiling. "I'm not telling you, and you're not going to ask. I just wanted you to know that you're not the only one, so don't feel bad."
I went back to grading papers, and out of the corner of my eye I saw him silently surveying the class, trying to find his co-12-year-old. "Who IS it?" he kept murmuring softly. His eyes were narrowed and his forheard was wrinkled in deep thought and concentration.
"P.," I stage-whispered. "Essay. Write."
"I'm thinking," he stage-whispered back (which is the only type of whisper he knows how to do, LOL).
Suddenly, his face lit up and he turned to me, so excited. He looked like he had solved the riddle of the Sphinx.
"Miss K!!" he burst out, unable to contain himself. "Are YOU 12?!??!?!" You could tell that he was convinced that he had totally figured it out. He was busting at the seams, he was so proud of himself.
I couldn't help it. I let out one of my huge belly-busting laughs. "No, P., I'm not," I told him. "But you made my day. I look young enough to be 12! Thank you so much!"
P. smiled proudly and wrote for a couple of minutes. Then he stopped once ore to verify, "So it's not you?"
"No," I told him. "It's not me."
The story is both adorable and heartbreaking. It was one of the cutest things ever--but at the same time, it shows where he truly is mentally if he actually and sincerely believed that his teacher could be the other 12 year old in the room.