It’s always good to have friends in high places.
A first-grader at Gillett Elementary School in Wisconsin experienced this one day because of a seemingly ordinary recess. He was playing ga-ga ball (a playground game in which players hit a ball at one another with their hands and are “out” if they are struck below the waist) when disaster struck. You see, he’d started the game with a wiggly tooth — which had vanished by the time it was over!
For a first-grader, this sort of thing can be devastating. After all, how would the Tooth Fairy know he’d lost his tooth without evidence? Sure, he had a gap in his mouth, but what if that wasn’t enough?
Luckily for him, school principal Curt Angeli was there to save the day!
Curt guessed the boy had swallowed the tooth in the excitement of the game. Despite that possibility, teachers, students, and parents scoured the playground for it. When they finally gave up, the clever principal decided to use his “pull” to write a letter to the Tooth Fairy backing the boy up.
“Today [the student] lost a tooth while playing outside at recess,” the letter began. “Unfortunately, it was lost in our ga-ga pit, and despite the valiant efforts of an intrepid search team, we were unable to recover the tooth.”
Curt went on to describe himself as a “trained principal and hobby dentist” in order to give his verification more authority. And it seems to have worked! The next day, the little boy went to Curt’s office to make an announcement: The Tooth Fairy believed the letter and rewarded him with a dollar!
In all his years in education, Curt said he’d never written a letter to the Tooth Fairy before, but he enjoyed the opportunity to enrich his student’s learning environment and spark his imagination.
“Education sometimes is a tough business nowadays,” he said. “Kids come to us from all different places, and you try to infuse that good support and acknowledgment in everything that you do.”
If we ever need someone to vouch for us, we hope we have someone like Curt in our corner! This is one educator who understands there aren’t many “little things” for kids when their feelings are involved. And taking the time to validate and support them with love and humor can make all the difference!
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