Sunday, May 17, 2009

Outta Context

It was Saturday and I had to pick up tea and frozen breaded eggplant at the local Trader Joe’s store. I was by myself when I entered the store, looking to see if there was a long line at the register. I immediately noticed a five-year old child with a shopping cart between him and me. His hands were curled over the push bar that just covered his eyes. Almost bumping into his carriage, I pretended I was surprised and said, “Hi, Charlie.”

His startled response was “Dane, what are you doing here?”

I said, “I have some shopping to do.”

With a quizzical look, he stated, “But you’re not supposed to be here.”

Charlie’s mother and I looked at each other, smiled, and immediately knew that I was out of context for Charlie’s world.

At a minimum, Charlie and I see each other when he enters the school door each day and as head of school, I welcome him and his classmates. They say "Hi." and that works perfectly for them . . . when I am in school.

Do you have any anecdotes about children seeing events out of context?

1 comment:

Claudia Daggett said...

I loved this entry. I think there are many teachers and heads who have had similar experiences while shopping for groceries or carrying out their outside-of-school lives in other ways. And "outta context" is not just an early childhood phenomenon. I once heard one of my fourth grade students exclaim to her mother that I had Oreos in my grocery cart!