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Camas, WA 98607

An educational company providing resources for teachers, therapists, and other support staff focusing on collaboration and intervention strategies for preschool and school age students.

Staff Chat

Brief, informative lessons to share with staff and students.

What Have You Come To Teach Me?

Debra Em

I am typing this post at 4:48 in the morning, to be exact. Now I know for some of you early-riser-grab-my-cup-of-joe-gonna-workout-at-an-insane-hour-people typing at 4:48 in the morning seems like no biggie.

For us stay-awake-into-the-wee-hours-and-sleep-in-until-lunch-is-served kind of people, writing at 4:48 in the morning is the launching point for a really lousy day. You might be asking, “So why are you up so early?” The simple answer is, “A frog.”

That’s right, one frog has taken up residency in our man-made water feature in the front yard. My bedroom is positioned right next to the water feature that seemed like a good idea once upon a time. 

This frog has kept me awake each night for a week now. This obnoxious frog is the loudest frog I’ve ever heard. One frog. One green little menace of a frog is ruining my peaceful pond and my very existence, not to mention my sleep. You see, the frog ribbits on and on and then suddenly stops. I start to drift, thinking it’s safe to let the sleep fairy come visit, and just when I’m drifting off, the zealous frog starts in again.

At 4 a.m., I’d finally had it! It’s war. Me and you frog. It’s on! I don my cap, throw a coat over my pjs, put on my “frog busting” shoes, grab a snow shovel and go traipsing out to the water feature to make so much ruckus and noise that said frog is going to rue the day he decided to move into my peaceful pond.

With great fanfare, I yell out into the dark, foggy night, “You git frog. You git outta here right now. I’ve had it with you.” With my shovel, I pummel the water. I hit the rocks. I pulverize the bushes. I am into some serious behavior modification here. Having sufficiently made enough racket to warrant a “disturbing the peace” phone call to the local sheriff, I’m relieved to see the neighbors still peacefully sleeping, unaware of my frog troubles.

Feeling accomplished and empowered, I head back into the house. My warm bed is waiting for me. All is quiet. I’ve conquered the frog. I’ve shown him who’s boss.

I remove my cap and coat. I slide between my cozy, Martha Stewart inspired bed linens (the non-prison variety), and feel the warmth permeate my chilled bones. Aaaaah. Peace. Sleep.

Ribbitt. Ribbitt. Ribbitt.

There’s a moral here somewhere. Doesn’t every tale have a moral or a metaphor? I need a post for Friday. It’s Thursday. I can make this work. I can make lemon aid out of lemons. I can find my silver lining. Here goes.

Could this frog represent a child we have in our classroom, the child that keeps us up at night? Despite coercion, behavior modification, cursing to the sky, this one child is ruining our peaceful pond.

In the words of Dr. Carla Hannaford, I repeat her wisdom. When we get children like this who find their way into our pond, we need to ask ourselves,  “What have you come to teach me?” You might discover a profound answer to your question rather than thinking that the frog has hopped into your pond merely to drive you crazy and be the nightmare that keeps you up at night. Thriving when there is a frog in your educational pond takes perseverance. I’d like to think S’cool Moves strategies are designed to assist with turning the frog in your pond into a prince in your classroom.

Okay, I’m getting the gist here, waxing philosophical. The frog has come to teach me something, right? It just so happens that Marcia Carter, a S’cool Mover extraordinaire, once gave me a Native American medicine book that describes how creatures, like this frog, signify healing medicine in our lives.

I looked up Frog medicine and here is what it says, “Sing frog sing! Call the rains. Quench the dryness. Cleanse the Earth. Then fill me up again.” Frog medicine tells us it’s time to take a break and allow ourselves to bathe in the waters of Frog medicine. I’m supposed to turn off my cell phone, stop the busyness of life, breathe deeply, and rest.

I get it. I’m listening. I’m picking up what this frog is laying down. But tell me, how am I supposed to renew, refresh, and re-energize when I can’t get any darn sleep due the incessant ribbit, ribbit, ribbit outside my bedroom window?

Considering other options to my frog malaise, I’ve decided that kissing the frog wouldn’t be a great idea either. Though teaching biology was the initial focus of my career, I still believe that I’ll get warts rather than a prince.

Wish my brother was here. He loves frog legs…

5:56 a.m.