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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Teacher Tom: Paying It Forward

Teacher Tom: Paying It Forward
Paying It Forward

One five-year-old boy frequently brought a toy from home to school with him: a truck, an action figure, a play set of some sort. His father cautioned his son each morning while dropping him off, "It might get lost." "It might get broken." He would offer, "I can take it with me. I'll keep it in the car so you can have it as soon as school is over." But the boy resisted. He wanted the toy he had selected for that day with him at school.
The boy well knew that his father's warnings weren't empty: some of his toys had been broken already and a couple had even gone missing. For most kids this would have been a problem involving repair attempts, all-hands-on-deck searches, and tears, but this boy's typical response was a shrug. Even more interesting was that when the lost toys turned up again, be it days or weeks later, he would be delighted, remind everyone that the toy was his, then promptly lose track of it again.

The boy's father really didn't care about the toys one way or another either. They were mostly gifts, he told me, from his mother-in-law, who regularly cared for the boy during the week. The grandmother was a little more possessive about the toys, often asking the boy to help her find them when she was on point for the end-of-day pick up. Often he would refuse to help, leaving her to her own search, although CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: Paying It Forward