Gracey’s Legacy Living On
The end of August brought on a new wave of sadness for us. August hasn’t been our favorite month for the past few years for a variety of reasons. Life threatening illnesses and injuries to good friends, losing loved ones, and this August was no exception. Sadness has a way of sneaking up and taking you hostage if you aren’t careful. I didn’t write much in August and when September came, I realized that I let the month of August come and go and decided to shake off the blues. I had some help.
Helping Kids in the Class Room
I received the most wonderful message from a member of our The Tiniest Tiger community. I asked if I could share it with you and she said yes.
I have already bought An Ordinary Toad’s Extraordinary Night. I absolutely LOVE your books. I also use The Tiniest Tiger, along with the coloring book in my classes. A few years ago when I first started in the special ed classroom, I had an autistic student who really responded well to Gracey. I had a picture of Gracey on my desk, and when the student was having a bad day, she would take the picture of Gracey back to her desk so that Gracey could watch her work. She knew that Gracey had special needs, and that sometimes Gracey didn’t feel like doing what she was supposed to do.
So on days when this student wasn’t feeling like doing what she was supposed to do, we would sit quietly with Gracey and talk about what happened when cats – and people – choose to do what they are supposed to do, even when they didn’t feel like it. It really helped her to focus on those difficult days, to know that even though it’s sometimes hard, we all have a job to do, and Gracey had to do her job [eating right, staying off the counter, getting along with Bad Kitty and Lazy Leopard] and my student had to then do her job [finish her assignment, use kind words, talk about how she was feeling with a trusted adult.] I like to incorporate the peaceful presence of pets in my room. I am currently working on a Master’s degree in Counseling, and I’ll be squeezing pet therapy into my practice some day, somehow. Animals speak when humans can’t.
I am looking forward to more adventures from Annie, Eddie, and Maggie. Already, I can envision a way to incorporate their stories into classroom social skills – getting along with others [Annie pestering Maggie,] sharing [Annie and Eddie fighting for the top of the post,] etc. You just keep sharing, and my students will benefit from it! I’ll also keep voting for Gracey and her Tiniest Tiger dream, and supporting it however I can.
A Little Help From Our Friends
This message really touched my heart. It is easy to get lost in the day to day and forget to stay focused on our goals. Today I scheduled two school visits for The Tiniest Tiger
and An Ordinary Toad’s Extraordinary Night. I want to thank you for being a part of our The Tiniest Tiger community, for caring for all cats big and small and for helping to carry on Gracey’s legacy.