A Niece Realization

, , , | Learning | December 18, 2017

(At the start of the day, each class has what we call “circle;” the students sit in a circle on the floor and we go around one by one and the students explain how they’re feeling that day and why. It’s part of socio-emotional learning for kids to work on identifying their emotions and communicating their feelings. This is a fifth grade class and I’ve given the students fake names for ease of understanding.)

Me: “All right. [Student #1], on a scale of zero to five, how are you today?”

Student #1: “I’m a ten!”

Me: Oh, wow! What’s so excellent in your world today?

Student #1: “I’m really happy. I have a new niece! My sister just had a baby.”

Me: “Awesome! What’s her name?”

Student #1: “Her name is Athena.”

Me: “What a beautiful name!” *I tell him a little about the Greek goddess Athena* “Thank you so much for sharing, [Student #1]. [Student #2], how are you today, zero to five?”

Student #2: “Can I also be a ten?”

Me: “If that’s how awesome you are, sure! Why are you a ten?”

Student #2: “My cousin just had a baby.”

(It isn’t at all uncommon for one student to say something nice that happened and another student to say the same thing happened — whether or not it did — just to connect or get equal attention. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt though.)

Me: “Wonderful! Lots of Christmas babies! Is it a boy or girl?”

Student #2: “Girl.”

Me: “Another girl! Do you know her name, yet?”

Student #2: “No. They haven’t told us. But we see her tonight when she goes home.”

Student #1: “My niece comes home today, too!”

Student #2: “Is that why I saw you at the hospital the other day?”

Student #1: “Yeah, we had just seen my niece!”

Student #2: “We were going to meet my cousin!”

Me: *I wonder why [Student #2] didn’t find out the baby’s name then, but I have a more pressing question* “[Student #2]… is it at all possible that your cousin is [Student #1]’s sister?”

Student #2: “No. [Student #1] is my cousin, though.”

Me: “If [Student #1]’s your cousin, isn’t [Student #1]’s sister also your cousin?”

Student #2: “Maybe?”

Student #1: “Yeah, she is!”

Me: “[Student #2]… I think you and [Student #1] are talking about the same baby.”

Student #2: *his eyes light up as he realizes this* “YEAH! Hey!” *turns to [Student #1]* “Your sister’s baby is my new baby cousin!”

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