Shifting Perspective #sol20
October 20, 2020
He looks up at me with those big eyes rimmed with lashes only a kinder can have. Do you like my mask? Is this the gym? Where is the cafeteria? Am I coming again tomorrow? Where is my classroom? It all comes out in a rush. I wonder if he took a breathe in between and how long he was holding in those questions about school… what is school like?
We made appointments for the remote kinders to come into school safely after hours and complete the kindergarten screening put off from last fall and our benchmark assessments. It seemed important to us to meet them in person, to watch them hold a pencil and count the blocks one by one, to hop on one foot and draw a picture of themselves or someone else.
What I didn’t know is that it was important to them as well. They wanted to tell us about their online teacher, Mrs. Murphy. Can’t wait to meet her. They wanted to talk to us. They wanted to ask us questions about the school. Truth is, we all hope it will be their school one day and to us, it already is.
Their parents were curious too. Not as overtly curious as the five year olds, but they asked their share of questions too. Can we see the class he would be in? Are there any openings for us to join the hybrid model? I want to be welcoming, open. I want them to feel comfortable and a part of our community. I want to spend twenty minutes enjoying the company of their children.
It’s a crazy world right now. Full of new challenges along with the old ones. The parents still want to know. Did he do ok? Is there anything you want to tell me about the assessment? What did you ask him to do?
He was a joy, I want to say. He’s doing so well. I can tell how hard you’re working in between your work calls and your other responsibilities. Look at how confident he is, I want to say to the dad who was hesitant to let him out of his sight. That little friend did ask for his dad, but was fine when I told him dad was waiting just out of sight in the lobby. Could we play just a few more games?
Mrs. Murphy played that counting game with us this morning, he said confidently. Wonderful, let’s play it again, I said.
Let’s find our joy and our purpose in the moments we can. Support each other in the choices that feel comfortable. Revel in what feels normal and not dwell on what we’re missing. The days are long and the struggles are real, but a few moments in the glorious shiny beams of a kindergarten are a tremendous balm I recommend.