If anyone had told me three years ago I would be teaching kindergarten, I would have politely laughed at them. If anyone had told me three years ago I would be teaching kindergarten, and one of my students would be my charming little M.A., I would have (politely) laughed at them and then high-tailed it for the next bus out of town. If anyone had told me I would be teaching kindergarten, and one of those students would be my daughter, and then added to that last part that I would love being that special Mrs. “What’s Your Name Again?” to two consecutive sweet classes of the cutest little kindergartners this side of the South Pole, I know I would have looked that person in the eye and said, “Sign me up, pup.”
You know you’re a true kindergarten teacher when you can make rhymes fit on the end of any ordinary statement. And that’s the truth, Ruth.
I am reading a Robert Munsch book to my students after quiet time is over. Complete with dramatic actions, over-exaggerated emphasis and lots of expression. And I realize (for not the first time, but still…) that one of my callings in life is in drawing out passion and interest and understanding in people and allowing those individual life lights- the joy that dwells within each and everyone with whom we come in contact- to shine with radiance. Even little people have the ability to shine their inner light brightly. I love watching little faces and listening to their laughter as I read an especially funny part, or watching them interact with a book with the wide range of emotions that even an infant is capable of conveying. (We all love a good book- and Robert Munsch has been read in our family from Day 1.)
Those we call light bulb moments. When an idea is connected with understanding. Or when empathy is evidenced in a relationship. When unlikely, new friendships are formed, when impossible relationships are grown deeper, woven more tightly together. When the miracle of life is seen in a new-born and one realizes again and again that a heart is always big enough for more love. Always.
Light bulb moments happen.
My students have light bulb moments all the time. Today, most of them properly read something for the first time ever. EVER. And this is what they read to each other: they read their name. They read their name out loud, as they tracked the letters and sounds with their tiny baby fingers. They read THEIR NAME. Yet another milestone in the life of a child. Light Bulbs flashing everywhere! I felt like I was going to bubble over with joy as I watched them reading, witnessing a significant first in their four and five-year old lives.
It is CUTTING-EDGE to witness a child reading for the first time. Right up there with the Seven Wonders of the world. I felt like I had watched Moses part the waters. It was THAT EXCITING. But that was not all. Other light bulbs were flashing on. I watched a cute little lady befriend a beautiful little girl in her class with special needs, and I saw it. The light bulbs turning on. When children realize that in spite of our differences, on the inside we are all the same, it is not just a light bulb that goes on. Fireworks happen.
I made a new friend today too. An unlikely friendship. And it was largely due to my effort in plugging away at being plain-old friendly. I also realized something else. Even old friends sometimes need a little extra understanding and TLC. Be kind to your friends. And even though it is a worthy reason to do so because “you never know when you might need a friend,” do it just because. And let that be enough. And when the favour is returned your way, take it as a blessing, not a right.
My light bulb moments for the day.