My dear colleague Brittany Cernic and I were talking last week, as we often do, about what to bring to you in our upcoming ExchangeEveryDay messages. With Brittany on the East Coast and me on the West Coast, she’s often waiting on me as she’s waiting for her kindergartener to return home on the school bus. We tossed about a few ideas as Lily’s bus arrived, and then I half-jokingly said, "Ask Lily what she thinks teachers everywhere should think or know." And Brittany followed through.
Lily’s response struck a chord, starting with a heavy load of responsibility and high expectations:
"Teachers should know everything."
Everything? Really? How often we in early childhood feel the weight of such demands! But then she moves into appreciation and acknowledgment…
"My teacher knows everything!"
And then, we get to the heart of it all, the kind of "everything" Lily had in mind:
"…like how to use kind words."
Today, like every day, as we each face our own piles of "Everything," know that people believe in you and remember to use kind words!
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So poignant, Deborah! I'm often amazed at the low bar children set for us as adults! How easy it is to get caught up in the checkboxes and forget the fundamentals that create a safe and welcoming space for all children.
As a mother of 4, my favorite moments were when I would drive my children somewhere, maybe with a couple of friends along as well. They were all belted in behind me and just chatting. I loved listening to their honest conversations. The most memorable was hearing about their favorite teachers. Inevitably this all boiled down to a single attribute. "My favorite teacher is....she never yells." Everything else was just details. But kindness rose to the top, freed their souls and allowed them to learn. Always.