Thursday, September 3, 2009

A New Year...

...and a new beginning.

After the rush of preparation, the anxiety and loss of sleep, the first day jitters, what it comes down to is a moment. Each smiling face to walk through that kindergarten door brings a story, a chance, the limitless hope and possibility of childhood.

So, it is up to you. How will you meet this challenge, how will you greet this opportunity?

I choose a smile, a handshake, " I'm so glad you're here!" "It's good to see you, again!"

We've all heard the teacher lore, the proverbs, handed down with unspoken certainty on the part of the teller:

"You're going to have your hands full with that one."
"Don't smile before Christmas break."
"They need to learn what school is all about."

The last rings particularly true, as it is up for interpretation.

What is school all about? That...that is up to you!
Is it about blackline masters or hands-on letter work? Following directions, or problem-solving skills? Rote memorization or concrete math experiences?

Clearly, there is some middle ground, some balance that you must strike for yourself as a teacher, as you work to best meet the needs of the children in your care, to help them grow in so many ways.

For me, this year is so much about intention. About starting strong, and staying strong- following the child, and challenging each and every learner to grow, to succeed.

The potential of each child, the uniqueness strikes you as they enter your care- be it in a brilliant smile, subtle compassion, tentative questions, or Great Big Bear Hugs like they've known you for years.

Kindergarten is life in motion, Life in Progress. *

*I must attribute this beautiful phrase to Linda Kallin, whose handmade sign at her home inspired me to post it in signage on my classroom door.

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