I have had a pretty hard time in adjusting to my new preschool gig at work. I did not ask for it, in my humble opion, it was forced upon me in a less than ideal way. But, I need a job so I had to accept it. My days are now split between working with the Functional Core Class (something that I believe everyone should do at least once) and working with little autistic preschoolers. When I first told Dad what was happening he was like “I think it’s great, the kids will love you! This is good!” Blah Blah Blah. I am not ashamed to say that I thought Dad just did not get it. I do not do well with little kids. My forte is with the 3-5th graders. I fought it, I was unhappy, I adjusted, and I made it work….for now.
I work with an adorable three-year-old little preschool boy. “Bean.” I am telling you guys, Bean needs his own show. He is adorably amazing and has quickly become my favorite. Apparently, he has some behavior issues, but I do not really see them as issues, I see them as normal. For instance, he gets overwhelmed if there is too much noise or too much going on. I mean, don’t we all? Little three-year-old Bean can carry on a conversation with you like there is no tomorrow. I adore him, and it is because of him that I am now coming around to perhaps liking this preschool gig I was forced to do.
So today, out on the playground, I am working with my little friend Bean. Now, Bean knows me all too well. He knows that all he has to do is reach into my coat pocket and an assortment of gummy worms will be there. I use gummy worms as a “motivator” for my kids, and it works pretty well. As Bean reached into my pocket and found said gummy worms, I told him “Okay, but you have to work for it!” And so it began.
Me~ Bean, Walk with me.
Me~ Okay, stop!
Me~ High five!
(he gives me a high five)
Me~ “What’s your name?
Bean~ “What’s your name?”
Me~ “Your name is Bean!”
Bean~ “Your name is Bean!”
Me~ “My name is Jennifer!”
Bean~ “My name is Jennifer!”
Me~ “Hi Bean!”
Bean~ “Hi Bean!”
He earned a gummy worm, which he happens to call “snake.”
He earned it because he listened to my prompts, although he mimicked many of them.
I gave him his “snake” and off he went to play. Running around without a care in the world.
I am now standing there talking to the other Para’s while watching the kids play.
About ten minutes later, after the main Para told me “Okay no more gummy worms.” Bean runs up to me.
“Snake Jennifer, snake!”
What? Did he just say my name? Without me prompting him?
I melted. I bent down, gave him a hug. “Oh my gosh Bean, you said my name! You can have all the snakes you want!”
The other Para’s looked at me, rolled their eyes and called me “a sucker.”
I mean is this new information? Of course, I am a sucker! I should not even be working with kids because they know what to do to get me to fold. Just ask Henry! However, and more importantly, the main Para told me “He does not even say his teacher’s name!”
Whelp, that is all I needed to hear. Bean can have whatever he wants. He has now taken a piece of my heart that I did not even know was available.
And, once again, I have to say, and I really do not know even know how he does this, but Dad was right.