Lessons From Kindergarten…

The world has changed. Here, in my home state of Colorado, we have been ordered to “Shelter in Place” with only essential workers allowed out of the safety of their homes. The rest of us venture out only to get food and medical supplies before running home to hide from the virus that has affected so many of our fellow world citizens. In many ways, it is a frightening time. However; it is during these hard times that we grow and show our strength. It is also a great time to learn from others, and as I have found, our wisest teachers can be the littlest among us.

I am a Kindergarten teacher. Our schools are closed and my students are separated from me and from each other. It is hard because we have worked tirelessly to create a classroom community that we cherish and count on for support. Of course, they are where they need to be, with their families and loved ones. But it is a hard separation none-the-less.

This past week I was allotted 15 minutes to visit my classroom and gather up the materials that I would need to teach my young students during online learning. White board, markers, curriculum, storybooks, games… The list is endless. In the end, I brought home five boxes of classroom materials.

As I looked over the items that I had chosen, one thing stood out. Actually, it was two laminated pieces of paper. At first glance, they seem insignificant, printed with a magic marker and decorated with hearts and curly cues. In actuality, these are important documents in the running of our classroom. At the beginning of the school year our community of learners sat down to determine why we come to school and what rules we needed in order to succeed. It was eighteen 5 year olds and one 52 year old who collaborated and came up with the following vision and rules for our classroom.

Vision

We come to school so we can learn to read and play, so we can make new friends and love each other.

Class Code (Rules)

We do our best to…

Be kind, Be a Friend, Help Friends learn, Help each other, Love each other.

This entire school year we have been guided by these simple but incredibly wise statements. I had brought these home to remind my little class of children the importance of our love and hope in each other. But as I looked over these loving words, I realized that THEY were the ones who wrote this message of love. These young children already understand what we TRULY need in order to be successful in living.

So… yes it is a difficult time right now. However, there is no doubt that we will get through this together with love and friendship.

I would love to invite you into our little community to take part in a global vision of learning to read, play, make friends and love each other.

Blessings to all of you from our Kindergarten class. 🙂

Words and Image by Magical Normal Life

Teacher

To live a magical life, I feel I must have a purpose. And when I think of purpose, I think of my chosen profession.  Actually,  it is my passion.

I am a teacher.  A Kindergarten teacher to be exact. I understand that I am one of thousands, maybe millions of teachers in this world.  And I understand that in and of itself, this is not special.  In fact, it is one of the things that makes my life “normal.”  

But… It is special to me because it gives me purpose.  Every morning I have a reason to get up and be inspired to live a full life.  A life that I can give to my students.  

What an honor it is to guide these young children in their learning and to allow them to blossom. To let them know it is ok to ask questions. To make mistakes. And to get back up and try again.

When I teach, I am really creating a community where my young students learn to build relationships and to share and collaborate ideas.  We learn that we all have strengths and we all have weakness and that we can overcome problems together.  It is in this classroom that children learn how to work in a group, and many times, this is where they make a choice to love learning.  

To be the person who guides them is important.  I love this work. I love to create activities that my students can build upon and make their own. I love speaking to children at their level. Sometimes our heart to heart conversations are silent, with only our eyes talking and a small hand reaching out to grab mine.  Sometimes our communication is through pictures, especially if language is difficult.  

But we all learn and we all grow. This would include me as I become humbled at the wisdom of simplicity.  I feel as if I forget my wisdom and these tiny souls show me once again what is important…

To ask many questions.

To make friends with everyone.

To live in the moment

And to burst into song when I feel like it. 

So really it is a give and take.  I guide the young people in how to sound out words and count to 100, but they take me back to my true self.  A person who views life as beautiful and magical.

Words by Magical-Normal Life. Image by my school district.