A New Type of Resolution.

I’m not sure about anyone else, but in my world, New Year’s resolutions are usually overrated, overstated, and quite unattainable. Losing copious amounts of weight or exercising hours a day just aren’t in the cards for me. To be clear, I’m quite happy with my weight and I do exercise a few times a week. What more can I hope for?

I’d like to offer a new type of New Year’s resolution to my friends this year. Try something small, something attainable, something not only to help yourself, but those around you. Try smiling more.

I know, it sounds silly… and simple, but sometimes silly and simple are the way to go. When I’m asked in a job interview (it’s been awhile) about my strengths, I always list smiling as one. While I’ve been told I have a nice smile (thank you to my dental hygienist Nicole, she’s the best), I don't mean the quality of my smile, but the frequency that it’s offered.

A few years ago, a coworker who I didn't know very well stopped me in the hallway and asked, ‘You always seem so happy, are you really?”

I was surprised by her question. After taking a slight pause, I replied, “Yes, actually I am.”

It’s the smiling. If you smile a lot, you actually feel happier and those around you pick up on it. Like almost everything else in kindergarten, it’s contagious. According to several spiritual traditions, smiling is the secret to health and serenity. Sometimes I smile when nobody is looking… giving yourself a smile is like buying candy for your soul… except it’s free and won’t cause cavities.

So this New Year’s, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by trying to keep some lofty goal, borrow mine. Try smiling more.


Giveaway - HeidiSongs! - WINNER!

Using the lovely (and free) service at random.org to pick a winner (truly the only fair way to do it), Sarah L. was selected! Sarah will receive the HeidiSongs prize package detailed below as soon as I receive her mailing adress (Sarah - you've been emailed, just reply back to me privately).

Congratulations to Sarah and thank you to everyone who entered. There was almost five hundred entries! Thanks for a wonderful 2010 and here's to an even more amazing 2011.


Giveaway - HeidiSongs! - Last Day to Enter!

The HeidiSongs Giveaway (below) ends tomorrow, 12/29 at midnight E.S.T. If you haven't entered yet, go ahead an enter! Remember you can enter once a day until the deadline! So far over 400 amazing folks have entered! I'll be announcing the winner here Thursday 12/30. Good luck!


Giveaway - HeidiSongs!

Recently, as I perused the data from my first report cards, I realized, as a whole, my class was really struggling with teen numbers. They are TRICKY - that's for sure, but we needed to focus on them and try to get the majority of the class on track. As I was flipping through my resources at school, I stumbled upon my HeidiSongs CDs and DVDs. Heidi Butkus is a kindergarten teacher who created these resources to help her own students. They are extremely catchy tunes that really do help with remembering skills and concepts.

HeidiSongs has a CD or DVD for almost everything you can think of... sight words, letters, sounds, numbers, math concepts, you name it. In my classroom, we have been singing and moving to the songs for numbers 11-19 for a few weeks and I'm starting to see a big improvement. Her catchy tunes really do hit the spot. Heidi also has a blog with LOTS of free resources. Her music and blog are truly invaluable.

As my holiday gift to one lucky winner, I'm giving away the following HeidiSongs prize package (click on each for a product overview):

Pretty cool, huh? How do you enter to win?

Click here and leave me your name (first name is sufficient) and email address. That's it. No need to follow or 'like' me on facebook, although I always appreciate both. The contest is open to friends in the United States only (sorry my international friends, but this to keep my shipping costs down). You can enter up to once a day until Wednesday, December 29th. The winner will be announced Thursday, December 30th. Good luck to all!

This is my chance to say thank you and help someone else utilize a wonderful resource that has proven so helpful in my own classroom.



Twice a week, Mrs. D. and I are able to split our entire class by ability. It’s brilliant. Half of them go to a special and we’re left with half the number of sprouts and both of us. Sometimes we even get another adult in to help out. We are able to do some serious interventions with a small group and our class really seems to thrive with this individualized attention.

Last week, on one of these days, we decided to play Alphabet Bingo with our group needing more work on letter identification. One of the aspects of kindergarten I love most is introducing your students to something they’ve never experienced before. When you’re five, you haven’t lived long and there is much to take in. As luck would have it, most of the kids had never played Bingo before.

Now Bingo is nothing fancy. There are no flashing lights or blips and bleeps. It’s pretty boring if you stop to think about it. Well, you would think these kids were playing for all the booty under their collective Christmas trees. They were seriously excited, enthralled, and entertained.

Oh, and there was learning going on to boot. That’s the catch – they’ve having fun, playing, but learning and they don’t even know it. Us kindergarten teachers are sneaky that way. And what did you get if you won a round of Alphabet Bingo? Why you get to come up and call out the letters for the next round. What a prize!

As we finished our time with Bingo, I walked around the room and saw sprouts helping each other identify letters and strengthening their letter identification skills. Of course, they were having a blast. Like the sign outside my door says, ‘Work hard, have fun.’



This afternoon, as we watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on our Smart Board, I was grateful for the mix of high-tech wizardry (the Smart Board) and low-tech magic (the stop motion animation of the 1964 classic). Sitting in Mrs. D.’s rocking chair and looking out at our sprouts, finally calm in front of a video after a day of pre-holiday activities, I was calmed by the tranquility of the group.

And then the part of the program where Rudolph meets Clarice arrived. For the uninitiated, Clarice is a doe who, naturally, has ridiculously long eyelashes that never seem to stop batting at her new beau Rudolph.

After a few moments of speaking, Clarice, overtaken by her love for Rudolph, breaks out into song. As she opened her tiny stop motion mouth to belt out the tune, ‘There’s Always Tomorrow’ suddenly the quiet of our room was pierced.

Betsy, who herself spends an awful lot of time batting her eyelashes, was singing right along with Clarice… every single word. I was surprised she knew all the words and was able to match the high pitch of the doe. As the song reached it’s climax, Betsy reached out her hand for dramatic effect. It was quite a performance.

Tomorrow is the last day before our holiday break. The pre-Santa energy is reaching a peak in the classroom. As the children filed out at bus time, someone mistakenly wished me a premature ‘Merry Christmas’ a day too soon. I reminded them we still had school tomorrow and then began singing, ‘There’s Always Tomorrow’… Betsy, never one to miss her cue, joined right in and made for a wonderful duet partner. And with that, I leave you with this:



id·i·om –noun. an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket or hang one's head, or from the general grammatical rules of a language.

One of the many joys of working with young children is their discovery of language. The ins and outs of the English language can be tricky, and as children uncover the nuances, often humor is involved. Today at bus time, Martin was chatting with me about his brother.

“Is he older or younger?” I inquired.

“He’s older… oh, that brother, he really drives me up the nuts,” he said.

I think he was going for either ‘he drives me up the wall’ or ‘he drives me nuts’ – but what he said was, ‘he drives me up the nuts’.

“Excuse me?” I asked for clarification.

“He teases me and tickles me, my brother just simply drives me up the nuts,” he explained.

With that, Martin’s bus was called, I received a great big bear hug, and he was on his way. Teaching kindergarten is no piece of cake… it’s often all Greek to me and I find myself having to bite my tongue or feeling like the new kid on the block, but working with these kids, with all the hugs and laughter, the learning that takes place is just icing on the cake.



Oh how I adore The Polar Express. We spent a full week reading and learning about Hanukah. I think my sprouts know much more about the festival of lights than they did before. That being said, I haven’t found a book about Hanukah that is quite as magical as Chris Van Allsburg's award winning story.

As the cover was displayed, most of the children had some connection. This was a story they were at least familiar with on some level. We learned about Santa and his gift of a bell to the boy in the story. We discovered that his sister could also hear the bell, but his parents could not. As the boy’s sister got older, eventually she couldn’t hear the bell anymore, but the boy always did. He believed.

At the end of the day, we headed out for recess as usual. When we arrived back in the classroom afterwards, I heard the jingling of bells. Then the screams… ‘He was here! Santa was here!’ erupt from the children like the elves in the story upon seeing their mighty leader. Not one child questioned where these bells came from… Santa (or maybe one of his elves) had come to our classroom to deliver each of them an enchanted bell.

I’m not sure when children stop believing. I’m sure at some point I questioned the existence of the plump jolly guy in the red suit. Then something magical happened to me… I started teaching kindergarten. The spirit of the sprouts surrounding me each day began turning the imaginary clock of my soul backwards. Their exuberance and innocence started helping me see the world a little differently. They don’t question, they just believe.

I’ve become a convert. Watching their excitement, enthusiasm, and sheer joy for the season as made me believe again. When they raised their bells in celebration today, I heard them too. Each and every one.



An important part of building our classroom community is the Sharing component of Morning Meeting. During this time, each child gets to share something important with the entire class. We use a fake plastic microphone that really adds some pizzazz. Everyone has to listen to the microphone holder and it’s another opportunity to practice patience and listening skills.

Most friends share items from home. We’ve found out about little brothers and sisters on the way, new pets, the passing of loved ones and pets, movies seen, holiday decorating, visits from grandparents, you name it. Naturally in kindergarten, sharing is often humorous.

Today, when Darlene got the microphone, she reported, “I went to the doctor’s and had to get my fluke shot.”

Yes, fluke shot. Sometimes when sprouts make these errors, I question them and try to correct the misuse of a word, but in Darlene’s case, we didn't really have time, and I thought it was quite cute. So I let her go on believing it’s called a fluke shot. Personally, I don’t care for shots, so I don’t see how one could be considered a stroke of good luck, but hey, I don’t usually get a sticker and lollipop afterwards either.



During those first few days of school, teachers do something bad… well most teachers do… well at least I do. In the chaos of those initial days, as I try to reach the surface and get a gasp of air, I scan the room and identify those kids who you think are going to be difficult and those who aren’t. It’s not fair, it’s not on purpose, it just happens. With each year of experience I gain, I realize more and more how wrong I usually am.

This year, the sprout I was most wrong about was Audra. It didn’t help that a few staff members knew her from outside of school and had ‘warned’ me about her… it didn’t help that her parents let me know she could be ‘difficult’ at times… it didn’t help that she showed up those first few days and looked like she’d rather be getting a cavity filled than be in kindergarten.

In a word, Audra appeared crabby. She didn’t seem to like anything we did, any of the other children much, or her teachers. When we sang and moved, she just stood there. Sometimes I thought I could see her lips moving, but I think she might have just been grumbling. I feared it was going to be a dreadfully long year for all of us.

After a few weeks something started to change. As we all settled into the routines of kindergarten, Audra relaxed and began… blossoming. She started singing… she started dancing… she started to love working – especially writing. She started giving hugs… she’s become one of the most frequent huggers… the other day I called her my ‘Velcro friend’ and she laughed. She laughed.

Now when I see those staff members who know her and they ask about her, I gleefully report how well she is doing in all areas. I take a small bit of satisfaction in the surprised looks on their faces. She has become a child who loves just about everything about school. She’s a model student. She’s showing her sweet and caring self just about all the time.

Naturally the lesson here is not to be quick to judge our students. I’m not sure that will happen, because those first few days, we’re all in survival mode. Rather, become aware of those judgments, but don’t hold on to them. Realize, just as the craziness of those first few weeks morphs into a calm and trusting community, so will your perceptions.

Our class wouldn’t be the same without Audra. I sincerely look forward to seeing her smile each morning and knowing she’s going to be helping out anyway she can and offering up hugs every few minutes. She now clearly loves school and I simply adore her.



The other day I was rushing around looking for some bookmarks I’d sent to be laminated. The supply room where the laminating is done is on the second floor. All the ‘big kids’ are on the second floor and I rarely am up there anymore. The lovely ladies who do the laminating also keep a candy bowl in the room and on my way out, I grabbed a small bag of M&M’s – hey I can use a sugar jolt whenever I can grab one.

As I left the supply room in a rush, I walked by a third grade classroom and couldn’t help but notice… the quiet. Looking much like a whirlwind, perhaps the Tasmanian Devil, I moved in, over to the teacher, and whispered, “Do you have any allergies?”

She looked surprised to see me and at my question. She shook her head no. As I quickly moved away from her, I whispered back, “You’re class is so quiet and everyone is working and on task.”

I began giving each student a single M&M from my bag. They were indeed silent and at this point, most likely stunned at the crazy man in their classroom giving them candy. As quickly as I entered, I left and ran (when nobody was looking) back to my classroom. Time is precious when you teach kindergarten.

As I reflected on the quiet and calm I had just witnessed I couldn’t help but think of the often noisy, busy, and, let’s face it, sometimes chaotic place a kindergarten room can be. Those third graders’ level of independence was admirable, but I’m guessing my friend who teaches them doesn’t have nearly as much fun as I do… or get nearly as many hugs.

The next morning, I came in to a few thank you letters on my desk. Having the easily distracted mind I do, I had forgotten about my M&M delivery, but quickly remembered after reading the sweet letters from my third grade friends. I guess every grade level has its pros and cons. I’ll keep the loud, active, distracted, and sweetness of kindergarten. It suits me just fine. It just feels right.



Quiet time. Darkness. Yanni soothing my sprouts to a calm rest. One by one, they file over and begin hugging both Mrs. D. and myself. A few of them going back and forth like ping pong balls… hugging me, hugging her, then back to me. They were staying quiet. They were lining up. They were loving their hugs.

When they finally settled down, I leaned over to Mrs. D. and whispered, “Did you have this much hugging in your classroom last year?”

“No way,” she replied.

“Me either… I wonder why?” I asked.

“It’s the community we’ve built,” she replied.

She’s right. Last year I had my one hugger and a few very affectionate others, but nothing like this… almost every one of our students gives hugs. Some more than others, a few have never given one, but I can count them on one hand. They all feel comfortable hugging. Some needed some time to see others and know it was permissible, but once they knew, the hugs haven't stopped.

One little boy, Jason, who refused a hug from me a few weeks ago when I asked if I could give him one as a thank you after he presented me with a picture, offered one up today. I was pleasantly surprised.

Others, like Martin and Audra hug non stop. They find any excuse to come over and give a hug, but for the most part, they keep them to transitions and non-teaching times. They understand how to ask and are all right if we say ‘not now’ which happens from time to time.

This community of learners we’ve created from the unfamiliar little friends who entered our room back in August just bowls me over. They have blossomed into the most respectable and downright sweet bunch you’ve ever seen. They give back two-fold. I leave each day exhausted, but I go back the next morning with a big smile on my face. A hundred or so hugs a day will do that to you.



Today’s craziness is brought to you from the teacher’s room – not my classroom. Every once in awhile I do something so crazy, so nutty, that I feel I must share. While it may not directly have to do with teaching or my students, it might give you a clearer picture of the spirit and energy I try to share with my co-workers and students.

This morning, as I was rushing to use the bathroom before my sprouts arrived, I walked by the vending machine and literally stopped in my tracks. A Hershey’s chocolate bar was dangling from its spot. You know, when you’ve scrounged your money in the bottom of your top desk drawer for that candy fix, escaped to the teacher’s room for two seconds, and then, the machine doesn’t turn the spiral contraption holding your candy all the way and it just hangs there taunting you? That was was was staring at me from the vending machine.

Well some poor soul had this happen to them and apparently walked away from the machine in disgust… how could they just leave? I took one look at that hanging candy bar and saw one thing… free chocolate! I walked over and began shaking the machine. By this point a few co-workers had gathered to watch… one got close thinking if she tried to help me I might share my prize with her. I quickly maneuvered so I was blocking her attempts to help me.

That stubborn candy bar wouldn’t budge. In a last ditch effort, I pushed the door at the bottom of the machine open, inserted my foot, climbed up on the machine and began really rocking it. At this point, I may have looked like a major fool, but at least I was a determined fool. After about five minutes of jostling and rocking, the bar began to budge. Finally, it fell free and everyone in the room cheered. Free candy! Free candy!

I offered to share my trophy with the group, but nobody took me up on it… perhaps they didn’t have the heart to steal any of my thunder after such an effort? Persistence really does pay off.



Safety is a big deal at school. We have lots of different kinds of drills. Today we had our first planned evacuation to another building. Much like an outside safety drill (we don’t call it a ‘fire drill’ anymore), we all leave the building, but instead of meeting outside, we walk to one of the other school buildings on our campus. It’s not really a big deal unless you’re five.

We explained the drill to our sprouts during Morning Meeting. We went over all the expectations for behavior (no talking, staying together, walking in a straight line, etc.) and then, a few minutes before the drill, we bundled up in our winter gear and waited. When the evacuation was announced, Mrs. D. and I held our breaths and waited.

A funny thing happened. Our entire class was… amazing. Nobody talked. Nobody got lost. Nobody got out of line. Nobody acted like a crazy person. They were, quite simply, perfect.

When we got back from the long drill, I made sure to let them know how well they did. Perfect isn’t hilarious and doesn’t make for an amusing story, but it sure made my day.


'Tis the season.

Well it was bound to happen. The dance of the snow bunnies… also known as, a class of kindergarteners attempting to put on snow pants, boots, hats, mittens, scarves, and other random extraneous snow gear. To be perfectly clear there is no snow on the ground… well maybe a tiny amount… less than a quarter of an inch and that’s only in a few spots. It is cold and well, kids just love snow.

As I stood and watched the quiet chaos (we try to keep the talking to a minimum so we actually get outside to play) I couldn’t help but wish I were able to video tape the madness to share… for the record, I can’t. The amount of severe tugging, pulling, jumping, and groaning is like nothing you’ve ever witnessed… unless you teach the little ones.

When we finally were ready to head out, I had a little boy come up to me, with mittens on and ask me if I could zip his coat.

“Do you know how to zip it?” I asked thinking he did.

“Yeah, but I have my mittens on,” he reasoned.

“Well so do I… I’d have to take mine off to zip it, so you mine as well take yours off and do it yourself,” I retorted. Ah, I will not be outwitted by a five-year-old today!

Not coincidentally, with the frigid air arriving, talk of Santa abounds. I learned a few facts about him I didn’t know. Apparently Santa watches adults too, so I’d better not speed when I’m driving or I’ll be placed on the naughty list. Santa also will bring presents to kids with no fireplaces, he just slips in an open window so do not, under any circumstances, lock your windows if you don’t have a fireplace!

Naturally, between all the dressing in our snow gear and talk of Santa the hugs never stopped. I would love to count the number of hugs I receive each day, but really, I have no method simple enough to keep track of them all… I’d say a hundred would be a good estimate – and not a bit dramatic either. Truly if I had a nickel for every hug I got today, I’d have one fat piggy bank.

Santa, snow and hugs are about all you need to sustain a sunny outlook when you’re five. Lucky for me, it’s contagious. That, all my friends who teach older friends, for the record, is why I’ve always got a big smile on my face.



As part of our literacy program using The Three Habits of Highly Successful Reading Teachers (I don’t get a cut of the sales, I promise…), Mrs. D. and I have been preparing a packet of materials to send home to parents. A few weeks ago, I had the brilliant idea (Mrs. D. was reluctant, but much as I usually do, I plowed ahead) of videotaping parts of our instruction to help parents transfer the specific skills we’re teaching at home.

Last week I videotaped some lessons and posted them on our class website. Today we finally were able to gather and package the materials to send home. As part of presenting the materials to the class, we wanted to share the videos. If you’ve never watched a class of five-year-olds watching videos of themselves, let me tell you, it’s an experience.

There were smiles, laughter, giggling, covering of eyes, and plenty of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ – I was having more fun watching them than the videos. It reminded me of a recent news story I saw about dolphins responding to their reflections in a mirror – magical.

When we told the class they were taking home materials to help them become better readers and writers, they literally screamed with glee. Come ‘on – it doesn’t get much better than that. You would think we had just told them they were having an ice-cream pajama-pizza movie party, not sending home alphabet charts and sight word lists. Kindergarteners love learning and I love them for it.



The other day, during an activity where each child was given a card with a name on it for sorting by the number of syllables, Martin stood up when it was his turn, walked up to me and burst into tears. He then literally fell into me, hugging me as he cried. To be clear, Martin has never done this before. He was, quite simply, exhausted.

According to the National Sleep Foundation (who knew such a place existed… if I get a job there do I get to nap all day long?), kindergarten age children need between eleven and thirteen hours of sleep a night. With a full day program, we often see sleepy heads by the end of the day. Funny thing is, during our rest time, most children don’t actually rest. I think they’re afraid they’re going to miss something.

I’ve had many parents look surprised when we have the sleep talk. It usually goes something like this:

Me: I’ve noticed little Johnny seems tired most days, what time does he go to sleep?
Parent: Oh usually he get’s into bed around nine o’clock and then we read and tuck him in.
Me: (as tenderly as possible) Um, well, I usually go to bed at nine o’clock and I’m a grown man. Five-year-olds need on average about twelve hours of sleep a night.
Parent – look of surprise and shock and then: Oh, we’ll have to work on going to bed earlier!

As for Martin, he clearly hadn’t gotten his eleven to thirteen the night before. It was as if he needed to put his pajamas back on and go curl up in the corner of the room. I felt bad for him and also wondered if there was a reason he was so tired.

“Martin, you seem tired today, do you know what time you went to bed last night?” I asked him.

“I’m so tired ‘cause my mom tucked me in and then poof she was waking me up,” he stammered.

That was all I was getting out of him. We tried to have him take it easy the rest of the day and I told him to try and catch up on some sleep over the weekend. He did offer many hugs throughout the day, which while nice, I think was really just a way for him rest for a few seconds.



Oh those tricky teen numbers. For some reason (I think it’s developmental) kindergartners have the hardest time learning numbers eleven through nineteen. I’m not sure who decided we’d say ‘twelve’ instead of ‘two-teen’ or ‘thirteen’ instead of ‘three-teen’ or ‘fifteen’ instead of ‘five-teen’, but surely they’ve never tried teaching five-year-olds. These numbers don’t make much sense.

In a constant effort to drill these numbers, we sing songs and play games at every opportunity. One of the simple games we play is Teen Tangle. We lay large teen number cards out on the floor out of order and a child has to step on them in order while saying each number. The other day after we play a few rounds, we decided to challenge a few of the sprouts that have already mastered these numbers.

“Can anyone start with nineteen and go backwards?” Mrs. D. asked.

A few friends volunteered. This was going to be complicated.

Dan was up first. He walked over to the nineteen card and began. As he said each number, he would look over his shoulder straining to see the other cards and then take a giant step back to reach it. When he finally made it to eleven, we gave him a big cheer and then Michael came up to try it. He did the same thing. I shot Mrs. D. a look and we both realized at the same time, they thought we meant in addition to counting backwards, they had to walk backwards.

We both smiled with the realization of our mistake. These kids are so literal, when you say ‘count backwards’ they really do it backwards.



Today, as Mrs. D. read Splat the Cat, I sat next to Richard who was simply tickled pink each time the teacher’s name was spoken. For those not familiar with the story, her name is Mrs. Wimpydimple – a seriously funny moniker.

I can’t explain why the sound of her name was so hilarious to Richard, but watching him crack a smile and attempting (rather unsuccessfully) to suppress giggles each time her name was spoken just made my afternoon.

When Mrs. D. finished the book, I commented on the silly sounding name.

“Richard, you really loved that name, ‘Mrs. Wimpydimple,' didn’t you?” I asked him provoking more smiles and laughter.

“Does anyone know what dimples are?” I questioned.

A group of blank stares signaled me to explain.

“A dimple is, well look at my face when I smile…” I began offering a wide grin and my own dimples as evidence.

We then proceeded to have everyone try and show us if they had dimples and watched as they all tried to out smile each other. All the smiling lead to more laughing… laughing led to a spontaneous hug-a-thon where everyone made a line in front of us and gave us hugs… a few friends for the first time this year and others going back and forth between the two of us like a ping pong ball hugging one, then the other, then back again for more.

Even with all the learning going on, we never stop smiling, laughing, hugging, and having a grand old time. Just another amazing day in kindergarten.



Sometimes your class just doesn’t cooperate. You can ask and ask, try and try, but no matter what you say or do, some days, they just don’t listen. Today, during a working time, after multiple reminders from both Mrs. D. and myself about staying focused and keeping the chatting to a minimum, I brought out the big guns. I brought out… Clifford.

Clifford is a red stuffed dog, much like the character in the books. I bought him at a Scholastic warehouse sale for one dollar. He’s priceless. As I explained to the class when I first introduced him, Clifford, like many dogs, doesn’t like loud noises. He loves to visit children’s tables, but only if they’re using a working whisper.

We’ll like magic, a hush came over the room. The only sound heard was children whispering, “Shhhh! We want Clifford at our table…” When an entire table of sprouts was relatively quiet, Clifford would come rest in the middle of their table. Each child would offer a pet or two and then continue working. If they got too loud, Clifford would flee and find a quieter table.

Clifford doesn’t come visit everyday, only on those days where a little extra ‘something’ is required. He never fails to charm and dazzle the class. Oh, how I love that big red dog.



This morning as Martin was up reading the Morning Message and then answering a few ‘challenge’ questions about the message (find a word with three syllables, find a word that stars with the /L/ sounds, etc.), I noticed Mrs. D. smiling at me. Not knowing what she was grinning at (I can be equally distracted and clueless), she finally motioned with her head. Martin was leaning on my leg as he worked. I hadn’t even noticed.

Kids do offer these small, tender gestures all the time. Unlike the overt hug, these little signs of affection are not extravagant or showy. Whether a head leaning on you in while you wait outside the cafeteria for lunch or placing a hand on your shoulder when you kneel down to assist with writing, these are just another quiet way your students express how much you mean.

In the hectic whirlwind that early education classes often become, it’s easy to overlook these small representations of caring and trust our sprouts feel for us. Try not to let them go unnoticed like I almost did today. Find them. Cherish them. Be grateful.