file0001317076922He just couldn’t wait for the “Go” that always signaled the end of the teacher’s directions. She would explain the expectations and rules of the assignments and then end with “Ready. Set. GO!” At that point every child would begin their work. Every child except for “B”. He would wiggle and squirm all through the explanations and then hit the ground running before even the “Ready” was uttered. Without fail this behavior landed him in the “safe seat.” In his mind it was so very wrong. He was just excited to get the job done and he wanted a jump start on everything. But in the teacher’s mind he was a poor listener and disrespectful to her and the other students in the class. It was an impasse never to be resolved – – or so it seemed.

Enter J – – the Care For Kids mentor. As she spoke with B she realized he lived by a life lesson vital to his survival: “You must be first.” He was being raised by his grandfather who was also raising two siblings and a multitude of cousins. The house was small. Not enough beds meant the first one in got the best pillows. Not enough food meant the first one to the table got the most. Not enough attention meant the first one to be seen or heard got the conversation. So – in class, the first one out of the discussion and on to the work got the assignment done. B never had learned patience and listening. Those skills did not serve him well in his home.

But J knew B had to change. They discussed the idea of taking steps to get where you need to go instead of running straight for the finish line. The first step with each classroom assignment was taken ONLY after hearing the word, “GO.” You cannot pass “GO,” you must wait for it.

Today B sits as quiet as a mouse until he hears that word. Like a horse in the shoot ready to run he squirms a bit but is steadfast. J is working to instill other “steps” necessary to B’s success. But the most important step will always be “GO!”


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