Seeing double! Six pairs of twins at Cameron School
GLADSTONE – Cameron School personnel are seeing double this year, particularly Nicole Creten, one of the school’s kindergarten teachers.
There are six pairs of twins in the school, three of which – all boys – are in Creten’s classroom.
Fortunately, of the six pairs, two of them are boy/girl, and two of the others are not identical so mixups are not too likely to occur.
Alexander and Xzavier Anderson are in Creten’s class along with Daniel and Nathan Sarasin and Bryce and Mason White. Marci Downey is the kindergarten teacher of Eadie and Piper Diebolt. Second-grade teacher, Sharon Calouette, has Michael and Megan Stier in her classroom. And first-grade teachers, Connie Brietzman and Paulette Larson share Thomas Olsen and his twin, Heather.
Creten is no stranger to having twins in her classroom. She said she has had others in the past, however, this is her first experience with more than one pair at a time.
Standing in the doorway of Creten’s class, it doesn’t take long to see that her three pairs of twins do not sit together, and this is something that she prefers as their teacher.
“I did this on purpose because with twins, there’s a tendency for them to rely only on each other. Having them separated, it allows each of them to explore individually and make other friends.”
She is, however, in favor of having the twins in the same classroom, particularly because kindergarten is frequently a child’s first experience in school.
“I think they feel more secure when they are together,” she said. “Even though they don’t sit together, they know that their brother or sister is close by and it makes them much more comfortable.”
Twins Alexander and Xzavier really like being in the same class.
“I can see him (Xzavier) any time I want to and we can play together,” said Alexander.
If anyone has trouble telling Daniel and Nathan Sarasin apart, Daniel’s advice is to not focus on their faces but rather look at their shoes.”
“Mine are different than his (Nathan’s),” he stated.
Bryce White also enjoys having his twin brother, Mason, in the same class.
“It’s fun,” he said. “But we fight sometimes.”
Mason agreed about the difference, saying, “Sometimes we don’t play toys together at recess and I play with someone else.”
Downey said the Diebolt twins are her first experience having twins in her class, but she’s enjoying the experience.
“They support each other and they’re really good friends,” she said. “They may look a lot alike, but I’ve found that their personalities are different and they’re very social. I do, however, try to separate them when I have the students pair off.”
Piper Diebolt said she enjoys being able to play a lot with her twin, Eadie, even in school.
“I miss her when she’s not around even though we argue a lot in the morning,” she said.
Even though she’s been teaching for 27 years, Calouette said the Stier twins are her first. Does she feel twins should be placed in different classrooms?
“I think that depends on the child,” she said. “I talked it over with their mom and this was what we decided to do.”
Although there might be a temptation to compare twins – particularly if they are the same sex – Calouette said she is careful not to make comparisons.
“It’s the same thing if you have kids who come from the same family as kids you’ve had before,” she said. “Each one of them is different. Each has his or her own strengths and personalities and it’s important to work with those differences.”
Megan Stier said she has always been in the same class as her twin, Michael. “It started when we were in Preschool and then in kindergarten and in first grade, and now in second grade.”
Larson said she didn’t realize that Heather Olsen had a twin brother in another classroom at first and said having the two separated into different rooms is working out very well for the pair.
“Basically it depends on the kids, but I feel they need their own identity and there’s lesser chance for sibling competitiveness when they’re separated – especially if one does better than the other. There’s also a lesser chance for them to argue and tattle on each other.”
Heather isn’t at all concerned about being separated from her brother.
“We were in the same class in kindergarten,” she said. “Now it’s different. Mrs. Larson is very nice and she’s very silly and gives out donuts.”
Thomas feels differently.
“I’d rather be in the same class,” he said. “Then we could sit together.”