This afternoon, as I dismissed the class to get ready to go home, Evelyn hung back, standing a few feet away from me, just looking up at me. Clearly she wanted to tell or ask me something, so I took the bait.

“Do you need something?” I inquired.

She didn’t reply. She hesitated for a moment and then, with quite a bit of gusto, dove in for a tight hug.

That’s all she wanted. A hug… which naturally got me thinking about hugs and affection in our classroom.

Some sprouts can’t get enough hugs… they grab one whenever the opportunity arises, and often, even when it’s not the best time, like when the class is loud and I’m trying to quiet them, someone will lurk up to me and steal a hug. These are the sprouts that always seem to want contact... when they know a hug might not be right, they reach up and take your hand or lean on your shoulder when you're taking a brief moment to sit down.

Others almost never offer a hug. They’re sweet and kind, but for whatever reason, they don’t particularly want or need hugs… and then, out of the blue, they do. Like Eveylyn today. I think this might have been only the second or third time she’s wanted a hug all year.

Sometimes I think those rare hugs are extra special because I know a lot of thought and affection went into them… on the other hand, the ones that never stop hugging me are special too. I suppose pondering which type of hug is best is a good problem to have.


Ms. Velez said...

I am big on many alternative types of affection because it can sometimes be misinterpreted (unfortunately). Especially with my student population, I feel they need extra affection and try to show each student they are special to me. Hugging was big when I was a second grade teacher, the unexpected hugs when they just grab your leg. (I had a sweet girl once too who was very anti hugging, she got high fives) As a fifth grade teacher I give my girls side hugs when needed (arm around the shoulder and a light squeeze) and the boys get a hand on the back or on the shoulder if I pay them a compliment when they are sitting down. The slightest touch can mean so much (didn't mean to rhyme)

Knaus said...

I've decided the middle school equivalent of a hug is knuckles. Except for one young lady that does elbows. Odd, but she said its our thing. I'll take it.

Ms. Velez said...

lol I did elbows once because my hands were dirty. It was interesting.