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Connecting with Girls

Engage her emotions

By Logan RiderPublished 3 years ago 5 min read

It was my first day working in a new school. The children were not familiar with me neither were the staff. I knew that I needed to prove myself show what kind of results I can generate from my performance and earn my keep in this new work environment. I introduced myself to one of my colleagues. She showed me around the school and introduced me to some of the teachers. The vice principal approached me and told me the I will have three girls in grade 1 that I will be working with. I was somewhat caught off guard because I have never worked with girls before only boys. I headed off to the classroom that I will be working in and I met the teacher. I introduced myself to the teacher that I would be working with. She was friendly and welcoming but at the same time she was apprehensive about me. I knew she was the kind of teacher that you needed to earn her respect and show that you can add value to her classroom and her students. I waiting in the classroom on my own waiting the arrival of the students. I looked outside the classroom window and saw all the students filtering out of the schools buses. Some of the students seemed excited about their first of school some of them seemed very nervous and apprehensive and were very anxious knowing that they would have to detach themselves from Mom and Dad. I heard the noise of footsteps and chattering as the students came through the hallways. The teacher then walked in the classroom with three little girls by her side. The girls then spotted me in the classroom and just starred at me. The teacher then said "Girls I would like you to introduce you to Mr. Logan." They just starred at me with blank nervous looks on their faces. I then said "Hello girls nice to me you, are you excited about your first day of school?" They again did not say anything and just walked to their seats. I tried not take their reaction to me personally and realized that it was the first day of school and they were probably really nervous. During the first week of school I managed to make a connection with two of the girls. I asked them questions about themselves and used playful humor to get them to laugh and they slowly started to associate me with positive emotions and they began to connect with me. They ask for my help during class time. They would run toward me for attention outside in the playground during recess and lunch, and would get excited to see me at the beginning of a school day. However the 3rd little girl was a different story. She was not as emotionally connected to me as the other two girls. She was a very "hard to warm up to new people" kind of a person. She was on the autism spectrum which made it harder for her to adapt to new social situations. I spoke with her parents and her parents informed me that it takes time, consistency and humor for her to connect. It would just take her longer then most children make a connection. During recess and lunch outside in the playground she had a habit of standing against the school wall which is what other children have to do when they are in trouble. She was not in trouble she was just very shy and withdrawn and did not know or was uncomfortable engaging with other children. I tried many times over and over again encouraging in a calm manner to go and play with her friend she would have the same response every time "No thanks, I don't want to." I did not pressure her to play because that would cause her to withdraw even more and would cause any kind of connection she had with me to fall apart. One day I was observing her from across the playground and suddenly I thought of an idea to draw her into playing with her peers. I waited at my post in the playground for other children to initiate some form of play with me which they eventually did. Once we all started playing a tag game together I very intentionally moved the game closer and closer to the withdrawn girl against the wall. I moved the game to a point where we were playing tag right in front of her so it was impossible for her not to see us playing. I then whispered to one of the other girls as she was "it" "Hey, you see that girl standing against the wall?" she responded "Yes I see her Mr. Logan." "Go and tag her." I said. She complied and ran to the wall and tagged her. The girl against the wall who's name was Alexa was very caught of guard and froze up. She did not know how to respond after being tagged. I stood back and watched as the other girls were cheering her on and encouraging her to play. A very small smile began to form on her face and she started to move forward and began to chase the other girls. The other girls were laughing and cheering her on and the more they did that the more comfortable Alexa and she began to run full speed trying to tag the other girls. Her face was beaming. I watched from afar and made myself fall into the background and let the girls play on their own. I was very proud of the girls for being friendly and welcoming to Alexa. I was especially proud of Alexa for finally being comfortable enough to play with her peers. As the girls ran passed me Alexa ran to me and tagged me laughing and giggling and ran away. She turned around to face me her face beaming and said "Nah, Nah come and tag me Mr. Logan!" I ran to chase her and she laughed and ran. A connection with Alexa was finally cemented. It took time, consistency, and patience but she finally connected with her classmates and with me. From this connection she was was able to progress, socially, and emotionally and academically.


About the Creator

Logan Rider

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