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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Gabrielle’s vulnerabilities lie. With that picture as a guide, they have agreed on a set of goals. They’re working on relationship building, on skill devel- opment, and on boosting Gabrielle’s experience of well-being and confi- dence. They are also trying to change the back-and-forth patterning that was leading Gabrielle to become increasingly oppositional. And they’re doing all this while still making sure that circle time continues apace for the other children in their classroom. It’s impressive teaching that reflects what Julia, her colleagues, and I call “thinking big but acting small.” The work that Julia’s team does to support Gabby and her mother serves as a case example of the approaches we use to help the kids I call “the wig- gly ones.” Other features of that work are explored in chapter 13, but there are a few additional points worth noting here. The first is that being aware of what’s going on for a child always means considering life at home, not just in school. The second is that we can’t underestimate the importance of staying open to new information. Sometimes, it’s that information that helps us envision the best pathway to mastery for a child or family. The Importance of Staying Open and Curious—with Kids and with Their Families As lead teacher, Julia has witnessed Beth’s close-to-tears concern and her seeming lack of response to Gabby’s impulsive behaviors. However, as is so often true, there is considerably more to discover about what is going on. Julia and I reach out to Beth over a number of meetings. We quickly learn that she’s well aware that Gabby is not in good control, and very willing to accept some support and guidance. The problem for Beth is that one of the few things Gabby responds to when she’s misbehaving is loud yelling. But this mother hates yelling and for good reason. Beth, it turns out, grew up with a father who had a terrifyingly violent temper when he’d had too much to drink. And he drank a lot. When Beth became a parent she promised herself she wouldn’t scare her kids. However, trying to stay calm at all costs has caused a different kind of problem. Gabby has been so energetic, so wild, and so unwilling to listen when her mother speaks softly that Beth ends up locking her in her room when she has behaved especially badly. Gabby hates that, and it makes Beth feel awful too. Sometimes, though, it seems to be the only thing that works, at least in the moment. Longer term, Beth knows that what she is doing isn’t really helping. Gabby is just impossible in the grocery store From Reflection to Action COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 13