What Are Your Magical Moments With Kids?

Here’s a comment that many people have made to me in the past: “Do you re-watch all of the videos that you take? You post so many of them. How can you watch them all?” I’ll be honest: I don’t watch everything in its entirety. I usually watch snippets of all of them. That said, in the past year, my teaching partner, Paula, and I have started to watch some of these videos together at the end of the day, as we plan for the next day. It was some of Friday’s videos that have inspired this post.

I started to think about this topic when Paula showed me a few videos that she took of a couple of children out in the forest. They found some sticks that resembled “dinosaur bones” and “letters,” and they began to discuss their theories with her. You can hear and see other children in the background, but for this period of time, Paula’s completely focused on these two students. Even without explicitly saying so, imagine what message she’s giving these kids about her appreciation of their thoughts and her belief in their theories. The Kindergarten Program Document highlights the view of the child as “competent and capable of complex thought.” As Paula respects and responds to their words, she’s showing these children how much she embraces this view of the child.

Fast forward to Second Nutrition Break time, and Paula working with the class on tidying up the room. I’m on duty in the primary hallway, and one of Paula’s previous students is eager to go and see her. He asks me if he can, and I say, “Yes.” I know that Paula will be getting the children organized for Phys-Ed and a visit from our reading specialist, Sandy Batenburg, after the Break, but I also know that she always makes time for kids. This very thought is reflected in the video that she recorded in the midst of tidy-up time, when this Grade 2 student noticed our paper mache ball in the sensory bin. He had some ideas to share, and really wanted Paula to record his thoughts so that I could also hear them afterwards. As children are buzzing around her, and some even stop to listen and to share their ideas, Paula remains focused on this past student. She knows that he wants and needs to get out his ideas before he goes back to class. Even after she stops the recording, she encourages him to make her a list of the other planets we would need to make, and any additional information he would like to communicate. She’s trying to inspire him to write about something that matters to him. And then once he leaves and the room is clean-ish 🙂 , she has the other children share the ideas that she didn’t respond to at the time. Now she can also remain focused on them, and what they think and believe.

Then we move onto the last period of the day: music in our classroom. Our music teacher has planned some exciting songs and dances for the kids to participate in. The sitting, the noise, and the action is initially a little too exciting for a child, who’s eager to sit down and read with Paula at the eating table instead. As he explores an alphabet book with her, he’s looking at letters and sounds, as well as the missing numbers that he noticed as he reads. The Bunny Hop is happening right around the two of them, and while I’m finding it hard to ignore, he’s focused on the book, so Paula is focused on him. I love their quiet conversation, even in the midst of so much noise. Again, it’s the relationship that makes this work. The most important person in the room at this time is him, and he knows that! Plus, a calming option at the start of music, helped him later choose to go back and enjoy the rest of the music games with the class: a win/win.

A Kindergarten classroom is a busy place. Most classrooms are. With big numbers and diverse needs, it’s easy to want to focus on everyone … and in the end, we need to. But as I look back over these snippets from Friday, I’m reminded about the value in slowing down, listening to, and forming relationships with kids. 

  • Make them the focus of attention.
  • Connect deeply with each one of them.
  • Value their ideas, questions, and experiences. Value them!
  • Love them … as Paula so clearly does each of these kids and so many more!

As I’m about to start another week at school, the many lessons I learn from Paula are on my mind. There’s something incredibly special and heart-warming about each of these videos, and it’s these kind of wonderful moments that I want to have this week. What about you? I wonder how we can all make these magical connections with kids!






4 thoughts on “What Are Your Magical Moments With Kids?

  1. Thanks Aviva – I’ve connected your post to the one I’m writing now which will appear tomorrow. Thank Paula too. Often, educators who do this don’t even realize that they are making magic; it’s just “what they do”.

    • Thanks Diana! Super excited to read your post tomorrow. I will definitely pass on your comment to Paula as well. I think that your last sentence is such an important one. A few minutes ago, Paula texted me when she finished reading this post of mine. She really thought that I gave her too much credit. The “amazing” that she does is I think beyond what she even realizes.


      • I’m nodding vigorously as I’m reading your reply. I just finished writing three applications for my board’s Excellence Award in Education. I told two of the three people I nominated; both teachers were flabbergasted that anything they did was worthy of any sort of board-wide recognition. I really hope that one of my three applicants wins one of the prizes.

        • Oh my gosh, Diana! This is so true. Isn’t this always the case?! Love that you recognized these three people through your nomination packages. I really hope one of them wins as well. I will say though, I have no doubt that it is “an honour to be nominated.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *