Faith is likely about 12 years old now, and I haven’t seen her since she was 6. But I remember her well. We liked one another, had a nice camaraderie. We joked and laughed together, I knew what kind of art materials she liked, and she would make me pictures. She moved on to kindergarten, but would email me now and then to let me know how she was doing.
Faith never spoke one word to me.
She was one of those kids we label ‘shy’. Shy is a term I don’t much like, it is imposed as a negative, as though children who prefer to remain quiet must be fixed, taught (or forced) to speak, to be socially acceptable. Shy means not having ‘good manners’, not saying hello or good bye to people. It means prodding kids from behind a parent’s leg….shy means there is something wrong.
There was nothing wrong with Faith, she simply couldn’t speak at preschool. So we found other ways to communicate. We started writing notes to one another in a book, I’d write about something I’d seen her do, she would take the book home and dictate a response to her mom. I talked to her in ways that she could answer with a nod of her head. We could share funny moments and laugh, and I could tell when she wanted some help by reading her non verbal cues.
I think the important part of our relationship was our willingness to listen to one another. Faith was willing to listen to me and I was willing to listen to her.
Faith is a lovely intelligent being. Why would we think we need to change her?
Listening is seen, first of all, as a metaphor of openness and sensitivity to the act of listening and being listened to; listening not only with your ears but with all your senses – sight, touch, taste, smell; listening to the hundred, the thousand languages, symbols, and codes that we use to express ourselves and to communicate, and with which life expresses itself and communicates to those who know how to listen to it. Listening means being open to and welcoming differences, recognizing the value of the points of view and interpretations of others; listening as waiting and expectation. Carlina Rinaldi
deer kim you dot have to werre about making bred in the class we can make it. i am vare ecsidid obout going to pereschool. you mite not rekanis me becose i lost six teth and i am six.