I have a new student. Edward (named after the character in Rosemary Wells’ Edward the Unready) was in my room after I came back from lunch. Miss Nelson helped his mother fill out paperwork while I sat with Edward and his puzzle.
He was calm, and seemed to feel comfortable, even though tomorrow will be his first day of school ever. He liked the puzzle, but apart from putting two pieces together here and there, really couldn’t figure it out. He put a corner piece in the wrong place, and I said, “Edward, you know what? This kind of looks like a corner piece. I think it might fit in this corner right here.”
He shook his head. “Goes right here,” and he pointed, to two pieces that definitely did not fit together.
I tried again, and failed again, so I watched him. The puzzle was a sensory experience for him, it seemed, not a logical experience. When he was done he pointed to the toys on the shelf, and with my help, got out some unifix cubes. While he played with cubes I put the puzzle together. When I was done, he looked at it, amazed.
Miss Nelson told his mother about our walking field trip to the library for storytime tomorrow, and asked her to talk to Edward about it again tonight, so that he’d be prepared.
When it was time to leave, Edward said something unintelligible to Miss Nelson. His mother came over to listen, and she translated: “He wants to go to the library.”
Miss Nelson and his mother explained that the library trip is tomorrow, and he just stood there, with tears streaming down his face. His mother said to me, shaking her head, “I knew this was going to happen. He never wants to leave.”
So tomorrow, Edward starts in our class. He can’t do puzzles, and has trouble with transitions, but he has a sweet face. We’ll see how it goes.