I like to write about the kids at work. For me, the Twos are one of the toughest types to work with. They come to my office and lean on my desk. Their eyes drift over my important papers and the screen I'm working on. They ask personal questions about other students. As I'm turning a paper around, their eyes fix upon a name or some personal information and their heads turn in sync with the paper as if they're attached by a fishing hook. I react to this with brusqueness and I hurt them. They think that I think they're a monster. They leave- you can tell they're hurt but they don't show it, and they don't come back to the office to talk to me for a while. They don't offer- or beg- to help me anymore, not that I have many tasks they could do anyway. I havne't quite figured out how to lead them to presence. I know it involves being present myself, but in the meantime, while I'm still figuring things out, I need a gentler way to protect personal information on my desk -and my precious time- while still bonding with the little Twos who come to the office. I want to say, "remember yourself", although you can't really say "remember yourself" in 2016 without getting a funny look. So I want to say, "remember what you came into the office to do?" "Yeah", one girl said who I tried that question out on. "But I did that, and now I want to help you." Then I get stuck. What's so bad about helping? It sounds so innocent. Should I ask them what they want help with? What a vague and strange question, and of course the answer is going to be that they just want to help me, although really they want to be out of class, making the coveted excuse that they're helping the office manager.
One young girl used to come into my office and ask and plead and beg to help me. I liked her, but I couldn't stand her begging, so I dug into her with questions- how do you feel when you want to help, why do you want to help so bad, why is it so good to help? She was wierded out. She hasn't come back to chat all year. I want to get all my major mistakes with kids out of the way before I have my own kids, but losing a connection with a kid at school is still pretty painful.