We all started somewhere

January 27, 2013 at 10:41 pm Leave a comment

IMG_0743You may have wondered where I’ve been. Or maybe you didn’t wonder at all. Or maybe you found this blog more recently and figured it’s another poor, defunct, abandoned idea. Well, not to worry – I’m here and I’ve been busy: There’s a new Little Learning Girl in the family! Which means I should probably come up with better pen names to avoid confusion.

I look at Littlest Learning Girl and marvel at how much she has accomplished in just a couple of months. Besides pooping through every piece of cloth in the house, I mean

  • where to find food and how to get it out (she was not born quite knowing this as her big sister was)
  • how to get her hands into her mouth
  • how to swat at toys to make them move and how to kick to bounce her bouncy seat
  • if you move your eyes and head just right, you can go on seeing something even as it moves away
  • you can get a ton of attention if you smile charmingly enough

This stuff is monumental!

Besides making me ponder all the skills we take for granted (how many of us special ed teachers see school-age kids who can’t do the visual tracking one?) it also reminded me how we all started with nothing. We didn’t pop up as social creatures all at once, we started with a fleeting moment of eye contact. Not only weren’t we born readers or talkers, we started with the smallest phonemes.

In a newborn, we call this cute. Somehow, when they come to us in 1st…5th…8th grade missing any of these skills it doesn’t seem quite as cute. Sometimes it even looks rather hopeless. But then we back up and remember that we all got where we are one baby step at a time. And we look for the next step, whatever that is, because it’s the only way you’ll ever get up. You can’t waste time worrying about whether and why you’ll reach the tenth floor or you’ll never even get halfway to one. I don’t know if my students will ever be on grade level, but one thing I’m sure of: If a helpless newborn baby can start with nothing but reflexes and still manage to find a way to learn about the sights, sounds, and feelings of the world, then I really have to believe there’s a way to meet the student where he is and move him on up.

Whether it’s phonemes to syllables
pictures to numbers
objects to pictures
or even just how to smile charmingly.

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Entry filed under: Infants, Uncategorized.

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