Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday SOL Thoughts from our first week together

This is a Tuesday "Slice of Life" for Two Writing Teachers. Check out their website for lots more reflections on teaching.

Day One, Nicky sat down in his cubby and cried for his family.
He had watched his older sibling come to school here for the past couple of years,
but be here by himself? Without his family? Who thought this up?
James was in tears, too, and clutching his lovey.
It is so hard to say goodbye to family and then stay with these people you don't even know at all, for a whole morning. 
I encouraged James to help me build a road out of blocks,
a road that led to Nicky,
straight to his cubby.
James and I started building and, right away,
James was too busy to cry.
Right away, many others were there to help out - Paxton, Mateo, Henry, Dmitry, Avery.
Nicky watched our every move,
and listened to me, giving the 'play-by-play',
"I wonder if we have enough blocks to reach Nicky? 
To make a road to Nicky?"
Everyone was building, and
soon the road reached Nicky,
who decided to leave his cubby
and join us in our building.

I've had so many sweet, tender moments, this first week of our new school year!

I am touched by their trust and acceptance and overall good humor.
it is all new to them.
Their first time with so many peers.
It might even be their very first experience away from family.

There we are,
three loving adults,
using calm and happy voices,
entreating children to try, play, follow.
And there they are,
all about us,
surrounding us,
following our every move, with
both their eyes and their bodies.

If I grab a book to read,
instantaneously, children reach for book favorites
from the open shelves,
wanting to join in on the process.

If I pick up a broom by the sensory table,
instantaneously, children look for ways to clean the floor,
scurrying to get the sand up,
working diligently,
loving my small, child-size whisk brooms.

If I wash an art container out in the sink,
instantaneously, children mill around me at the sink,
pushing step stools up close,
balancing with classmates on a single stool,
reaching for sponges, getting to the faucet, searching for soap,
seeking ways to wash, as well.

If I set out a toy or project or snack,
instantaneously, children draw up chairs,
begging for a place at the table;
although I may not have explained what will happen,
there they are,
wanting to participate.

They want to do, do, do.

Yes, we have had a few tears,
separating from family,
but mostly, all has been going so well.

I know to keep their hands busy,
giving them plenty to tinker with…
I know to keep the routine clear and moving forward.

Two new friends checking out the family photos.
When the tears flow,
we head out on a walk,
often just me with a little one,
hand in hand,
heading on a simultaneously unnecessary and yet essential task,
"I need your help; would you help me get some paper from the supply room?"

They need to feel needed.
They need a moment, out of the classroom.
They need to be reassured, all will be well.

We are off to a very sweet year.


  1. I enjoyed the step inside your classroom. It seems like your students are becoming a community. I had to smile when you said, "If I….then they…." Our school put brooms and rakes on the playground. Our space has never been cleaner.


  2. You know what I'm going to say! I love hearing about these dear little ones, & this year with my granddaughter at my school, it's wonderful to run into her doing little tasks with one of her teachers-just as you explain, they need a break, a special task just with the teacher? Thanks Maureen-looking forward to more!

  3. I begin tomorrow and my stomach is full of butterflies. It is sweet to read your entry and remind myself that I too, will have a first week of joys to reflect upon soon.

  4. Your descriptions brought me right back to summers I spent teaching four-year-olds. Four is one of my favorite ages, so sweet. I love that you were able to start the road building with James and have so many children join in to reach out to Nicky. Your care shows.