Advice from a Teacher

I loved this passage, written by a kindergarten teacher. I was unable to find the author – I suppose that they must have been content in putting out to the world some lovely thoughts about what is important to teach our children:

“When I look around my classroom, I couldn’t tell you who crawled first, who walked before one or spoke in sentences by 15 months. I can’t tell you if their parents breastfed or bottle fed. No clue if they still wear pull ups at night, because I am sure many of them do. I don’t know if they potty-trained at 18 months or 4 years of age. I don’t know if their mom ever left them to cry it out for a few minutes or if they strapped them to their bodies 24/7. 

You know what I can tell when I look at my kids? I can tell which families value kindness and manners in their homes. I can tell when a child feels loved and secure at home (and at school, which sadly isn’t always everyone’s school experience.) I know who has pizza and movies Friday nights and which mom reads in different voices for bedtimes. I see how kids handle scary situations like thunderstorms. I can see who has a solid routine at home and who has chores and responsibilities. I can hear how you speak to your children by how they speak to others. When I look at my little friends, I don’t see their milestones, I see who they are – their heart, their actions, their inner voice, their struggles and triumphs, and I see you and all of the love you pour into them.

We are always supposed to talk about testing and benchmarks and data during parent-teacher interviews, and I had a mom look at me last time and say “I don’t worry about all the reading and math; she will get there. I want to know….how is she, as a person? Is she kind? Does she include others?”

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