Guest post from Mateo’s Teacher

Sometimes I believe fate finds a way to put two people together, to help them find their way. This is how I feel about our unity with Mateo’s teacher Candace.  Candace has found a way to really connect with Mateo and teach him and help him to understand.  I really feel that she is the reason why Mateo no longer needs an Aide, and is doing so well in class.  She treats her students with so much respect and kindness, and still maintains a “tight ship” that is very organized, and the kids have fun while they learn.  She has the perfect balance.  I am honored to have her sharing on my blog.

Mateo is an amazing kid.  We all know this… heck- sometimes when he has that twinkle in his eye and that cute smirk on his face, I know that HE knows that he’s pretty cool too.

I started following this blog after another parent in my class (Maya’s class) last year  sent me a link. I knew before this school year started that Mateo would be in my class. I had already built a relationship with his family through Maya and Mateo knew who I was.  I was very excited but really had no idea what to expect.  So, Mateo has been in my class for 86 days now and I have been wanting to be a guest blogger here for awhile.  It’s just been really hard to pinpoint what I want to say about him.  I have drafted up about 5 different entries in my mind but it really isn’t easy to fit it all into one post.  I have one particular story that I want to share.

We play this game in our morning meeting called the “Secret Clothespin Game”.  The kids all stand in a cluster facing with their eyes closed tight.  I tiptoe around and clip a clothespin on a student’s article of clothing, sometimes on a belt loop, a sleeve, a pant leg, or a collar.  The object of this game is practice self-control (it’s one of our CARES.)  The student that has the clothespin must act like he/she does not have it, they have to pretend to still search around for that secret clothespin.  The other students have to look for the pin and when they see it, they have to use self control by SILENTLY sitting down in their circle spot without shouting out or gesturing in anyway at the student with the pin.  It’s a tough game in the beginning of the year for these 4-5 year olds.  At first, Mateo would squeal in delight whenever he’d find the pin and jump up and down.  He’d stare at the person and have to reminded to sit down without saying another word.  This last time we played, I clipped the secret clothespin to his sleeve.  When he and all the other kids opened their eyes, I kept my eye on him (on the sly, of course).  He looked down, realized he had it, and looked up and away and started meandering around- pretending to look for the secret clothes pin on someone else!  He was so slick!!! At the end of the game, I called him up with me and I asked him if her knew he had it.  He simply replied, “YES!”.  I told him he did a great job using his self-control.  Our class family gave him a round of applause.  Mateo rocks!!!


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