Friday, April 24, 2009

Rubber Ducky

Nestled up in a corner of the building where I work, I share a windowless office with a wild PT and an inventive teacher for kids in early childhood special education. The ECSE teacher works with students in their homes and in settings described as "natural environments." In her case, the NE settings are a kiddie gym and a daycare center connected to a hospital.

A week ago Friday she was trying hard not to giggle as she worked at her desk, but she finally let it all out and told me her secret. She had stopped by one of the local 99 cent stores and bought their whole stock of duck bills, or duck noses, which made loud duck calls when blown into. With glee she told me how her parents were going to hate her next week when she passed out the duck bills and showed the kids in the NE playgroup how to use them. Every time we ran into one another this week we exchanged a "Friday's coming" look and I teased her about how her time on earth was running out.

Well, today was the appointed day and I asked her late in the afternoon how it went. She described how she showed the students how to blow into the duck bills and how some had been successful after a few tries, and how some had a little practicing to do, when they got home!

Then she shared a remark from one of her parents and almost got tears in her eyes when she relayed a comment that made her week, maybe even her semester. One mom had collected up her child and gathered up all her bags to pack in the car and go home, but then paused and said, "I think we'll go by the lake and feed the ducks."

My teacher friend said, "This mom really got it."

We're all hoping that our work is occasionally appreciated by others and that we have made a positive impact on a child's life. Sometimes we're surprised by the joy of having someone else recognize our efforts. I'm glad my teacher friend felt that today.

I'll leave you with a blast from my college days, when my best friend, Cathy, and I used to sing this happy song on the way to/from our summer job. You can sing along, too, and here's a hint for the musically inclined--a plastic straw in a fast food soft drink cup works just great:


barb said...

Hi Karen,
I love your story about your mother and plunger in OT practice and also the story of your mom helping another little old lady cross the road. Precious......
I put a link to your homemade activity board on my blog:

Occupational Therapy University said...

Hey Karen
Your story about your mother and plunger in OT practice is nice and also I also like the story of your mom helping another little old lady cross the road.

Thnx !