Way back in 1981-82 I was teaching 4 year-old kindergarten for Salem Private, a Baptist church run school. There were several 4 and 5 year-old kindergartens run by Salem Private, scattered throughout Salem, Oregon. Mine was in a church close to where we lived.
One of the 19 students in that class was a little blond girl named Mary. I've forgotten her last name. She had the most spectacular melt-down that I've ever seen in a student. It was time for us to sit in a circle on the floor for one of our daily activities and Mary did not want to participate. When I insisted, she had a total fit, screeching and flailing around. The other children were stunned into silence. What to do!
I took a chance and told the children to wait quietly in the room and took Mary to a little storeroom next door to hold her, soothe her and calm her down. It didn't take too long and we were able to return to the classroom. Obviously the sit-down circle didn't happen that day. We simply went on to another activity.
That evening I called Mary's mother and explained what had happened. She didn't seem disturbed about it. I suppose Mary did that sometimes at home, too.
At the end of the school year Mary presented me with a gift: this cheerful coffee mug:
This cheerful mug has been my daily coffee mug for lo, these 36 years! I suppose it has fallen a few times, but it endures! If it ever breaks, I will miss it greatly. Who can't feel cheerful starting the day with a good cup of coffee from a mug like this?
And most times when I drink my coffee I think of Mary, who is now a mature woman of 40 years. I would just love to see her now.