Last week Miss Frida threatened to quit the reading program because I didn’t give her an extra sticker.
It was quite dramatic…she said she never wanted to see me again and demanded to be let go from tutoring. Although I was slightly baffled by it (did she just dump me?), I took her seriously and walked her back to her classroom. I told her I would miss her if she left, but she only stomped off – and might I add, haughtily.
When I returned to the school this week, I wasn’t sure if she was still going to be my tutee. She was…and awfully surly about it. She wouldn’t pick out a book for me to read to her, so I picked out one that I thought she would like, “Angelina the Ballerina.” And she did like it, but struggled mightily to maintain an illusion of disinterest as I read it. She didn’t notice that I could see her little head trying to look away from the wonderful illustrations, but failing miserably…and her little hand reaching out to turn the pages, but then shrinking back. I had to roll my eyes. Drama queen.
And then it was her turn to read a book for me, and she outright refused…she turned all the way around in her seat, with her back to me. Unfortunately for her, her teacher soon appeared, bellowing at her in Spanish and English for being “mean” to me. I felt a little bad for Miss Frida, since it was in front of everyone. But it worked. All of sudden…Miss Frida was sunshine and rainbows, and puppies frolicking in the grass! She even gave me an apology, as her teacher left me a post-it for evaluating her behavior for the rest of the session. It was a checklist: would she be excellent, good, or not so good?
Well, I’m happy to report that she was “excellent.” When I marked it off on the post-it, to show her teacher she had improved her behavior, she was so proud that she put it on her forehead to show everyone as we walked back to her classroom. The storm, Hurricane Frida, had passed…