While students don’t go back to school here until Tuesday, last week, there were many children in and out of the school. Some were enrolled in the daycare program, and others were in with their parents to register for school. As I was moving back and forth between the car, the classroom, the office, and other classrooms, I saw kids everywhere. And it was through these observations that I started to think about something that I’ve never really considered before: what do you do when you see kids?
I will admit that there were many times that I was tempted to just walk by, and a few times that I did. We had an overwhelming amount of work to do in the classroom, and small talk is not usually my strength. But one day, when I went into the office to connect with the principal, I saw a family registering. At first, I walked past them to look in the principal’s office, but then I heard the baby crying. The tears caught my attention, and I said, “Someone sounds sad.” This led to a lovely conversation with a new family: the daughter, of which, became one of the new students in our class. I think about the discussion that we had then, and the opportunity to connect. You just never know what the future might bring!
Fast forward then to a day later in the week, when I was getting ready to leave the school and head home. I decided to walk out through our outside door, and I noticed that the daycare children were in our kindergarten pen. I could have easily walked right to the car, and I almost did, but I then saw a child wandering. He wanted to play with some blocks that another child was using, but sharing them became difficult. The child was quiet, but still didn’t seem to know what to do. I remembered then about the tree disks that we put in the shed. I grabbed them out, and showed them to the child. We even built a little tower together. I then left, and he kept playing, but now, happy to have a building material of his own.
Reaching Out Done At The End Of The School Year
These experiences had me wondering, how many children have I walked by in the past? Would stopping and talking have made a difference? Coming back to school can be exciting for some kids, but overwhelming for others. This week, whether out in the hallways, in the playground, or in the classroom, I’m going to make a conscious effort to really watch children. Does somebody need a connection, and how might I make that move? I keep thinking about how just a few minutes of reaching out might make a difference. Who’s with me?
I find that I am much more able to stop and talk to kids when I don’t feel like I have a million things to do. Strangely enough, the older I get the fewer of those things I feel like I need to do 😉
Talking to the kids reminds me why I am at school. Sure I love to teach and I enjoy planning lessons but I really like watching kids grow and change and I really like how my relationships with them evolve over the years.
It is always good to stop and talk when you can.
Thanks for your comment! I love reading your thoughts here. You show just how important relationships are, and remind us that school is about more than just the classroom.
I never know if I should stop for unknown children or not! If I have taught a child in the same family, I will definitely stop. I’m not so good with the small talk when it’s an adult, but I’l okay with kids. The problem is I often have a list of things I “should be doing instead.” I’m always glad after that I did stop, but I still have to remind myself that it’s worth the time. There are 450 kids in my school so it could literally take all of my time, but it’s usually only 1 or 2 now and then who have that look about them that make me think I should stop.
Thanks Lisa! I know exactly what you mean about the long to do list, the big school (now I’m at one again), and the family connections. It can be hard to know when, and also realize that as much as we might want to stop, it’s not always possible. These two recent interactions though have me thinking about if I might be more apt to start, especially as the school year begins. Could our connections reduce stress for kids? Could these positive interactions also make us feel better? I wonder …