The Perfect Misfit


Hermey, the Nonconforming

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Hermey lives in Christmastown where, like any other elf, he’s
expected to focus on becoming an expert toymaker. He’s told:
“You’re an elf, and elves make toys.” But Hermey marches to the
beat of a different (toy) drummer. He wants to be a dentist, and he
simply won’t participate in elvish activities: “I just don’t like
to make toys!”

Misfit: “Hermey” will never fit in your classroom
either. His interests may be different from yours and all the other
kids’, or he may just not like joining the group — no matter what
you’re doing. Just like Hermey, this child may be saying, “I just
can’t…I’ll never fit in…I guess I’m on my own now.”

Perfect Fit: It may not seem like it, but most
nonconformists actually want to fit in, but on their own terms.
(For example, Hermey tries to contribute to the toys by fixing the
dolls’ teeth.)

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Look for creative ways to enrich your classroom by finding the
hook that motivates this child. When you offer choices, the
nonconformist will surprise you with wonderful discoveries that
bring a freshness to your lesson. In the end, Hermey saved his
friends, and Christmas, when he pulled the Bumble’s bad tooth. Your
child’s individualism can show other kids that they too are
accepted…just the way they are.

Yukon Cornelius, the One-Man

Yukon Cornelius spends most of his time upstaging everyone else –
like when he proclaims he’s “the greatest prospector in the north.”
He’s completely focused on finding fame and fortune, silver and
gold. But he’s also a loner, willing to forego life in
Christmastown to do his own thing as a prospector in the barren,
icy terrain of the North Pole.

Misfit: It can be frustrating to have a child try
to one-up you at every turn, or to watch kids upstaging each other
in your class. But this child, too, can add something to your

Perfect Fit: Remember, it was Yukon Cornelius who
threw himself at the Abominable Snowman and almost lost his life
for the sake of his friends. Since the “upstager” is wired to stand
out, he has a wonderful ability to speak his mind and to stand firm
for his beliefs. Let your Yukon be a pacesetter for standing up for
Jesus, even when it’s unpopular.

The Narrator, Sam the

Burl Ives’ character was Sam, the talking snowman. He’s the
narrator for the entire Rudolph show, a commentator on everything
that happens in the story.

Misfit: Your classroom may have a “Sam,” someone
who plays the role of commentator and talks incessantly even when
no one’s asked a question. You never have to wonder what’s on this
child’s mind. (And, like many teachers, you may identify personally
with this character.)

Perfect Fit: God bless the “commentator” when
it’s time to have a classroom discussion. You can always count on
“Sam” to have something to say so that your classroom won’t be
deadly silent.

The “Misfit” Toys

The world’s unwanted toys are hidden from the rest of the world on
the Island of Misfit Toys. The song tells us that “a sack full of
toys means a bag full of joys” but when it comes to the “misfit”
toys, “there’s no room for more…”

Misfit: These characters are perhaps the most
difficult of all to have in our classrooms, because they seem
invisible. Sometimes they just blend into your room, so as not to
call attention to themselves.

Perfect Fit: The invisible kids in your room are
easy to have around, because they don’t do things to get attention.
But they can help others by setting an example of positive
behavior. One of their gifts is peace — a wonderful thing in any
classroom. Be sensitive to invisible kids, though. If you sense a
child is withdrawing or troubled, care enough to find out why.


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