Thursday, November 29, 2007

Watch for the Quiet One

The comment I made at the end of my last post on comparing children was aimed more at a child being in the shadow of one who is outstanding in some way.

In the classroom it is often seen that the quiet child sits back and does not get the attention because he is overshadowed by the outgoing student. In my classroom I have two outstanding girls painting a picture. One girl is sweet and speaks to me daily, compliments my attempts to be a good teacher and is enthusiastic about her work. I love her. Then the girl next to her is also a sweet girl but she is going through tremendous problems at home and she is very quiet, never speaks to anyone in the room, does not smile much, gets totally "into" her painting (which is good therapy) and does not ask for help. She to is doing a good job. I also, love this girl. When one on one I ask her about her personal life, I ask her how she is dealing with this problem or that problem and I try to be there for her. Sometimes, she opens up and talks and sometimes she only gives a little.

It is VERY important that I maintain a balance of attention to both the outgoing child and the quiet one. Having been the quiet child I understand my quiet student. She is content not to be the center of attention and she is working out her problems in her head. She will not demand attention until she gets totally cornered. As the adult I need to keep a finger on her pulse.

Finding the specialness in each child and helping them to fulfill their potential is the goal of parenting, the more children, the more difficult the task because everyone knows that when there is only one child it is hard to isolate their specialness because everything is special about him.

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