Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kindergarten LUV & Lessons

Do you want to know why I love my visits to kindergarten? The sign above is such a good explanation. Kindergarten is a magic place where sharing is at the top of the list. Remember how 'everything I really needed to know I learned in kindergarten?' It's true. Kindergarten is the "official" place that lays the foundation in earnest for all of those school experiences to follow.

[I promise another post as to why the preschool years make kindergarten joy a possibility.... but for now lets just soak up some K-LUV.]

Debbie's Half Dozen for Kindergarten LUV:

1. Share. Sharing is at the top of the list. Sharing is neither easy nor simple to a five year old, but conquering social skills is pivotal for a life time of success. Kindergarten is the proving ground for sharing. Share. Share your love of dinosaurs. Share your penchant for play-doh. Share your amazement over baking-soda volcanos. Share: it never goes out of style, it never costs any more, its always appreciated, one size fits all, its calorie free, there's always room for more! SHARE!

2. Listen. It's a good follow-up to share. To listen is to be willing to learn. To listen is the continuation of taking turns that sharing implies. True for adults. True for spouses. True for employees. True for students. True for grandmas. True for principals. How well do you listen? How capable are you at being quiet? Take a yoga class & learn about listening. Go to kindergarten and learn about listening. "Do you have your listening ears on?" [Have you ever said this outside of your classroom -- only to make yourself giggle-out-loud?] LISTEN!

3. Be Nice. The Golden Rule. Do unto others. Kindergarten is a place for the practise of manners and the foundation for a personal code of ethics. Ask any kindergartner who the nice kid is in class and they'll tell you in complete honesty. Niceness stands out -- even among kindergartners. The really good news? Niceness can be 'taught'. Niceness can be 'expected.' Kindergartners have a keen sense of right and wrong -- and they know where nice fits into the equation. Being nice counts in kindergarten & that's why I fit in there. BE NICE!

4. Help. Do you just LUV that 'help' is in the top 5? When I trudge up to a school with all my gear in hand, its always some little kindergarten child, with a backpack as big as they are, that seems to run up the sidewalk for the opportunity to hold open that humongous front door. Kindergartners know what its like to need help. They are earnest enough to be able to offer it and they are humble enough to ask for it. Embroider those four letters on your heart in kindergarten: h-e-l-p. Know when you can extend it. Know when to seek it. We need to offer each other merit badges for helping. Ask any classroom of kinder-kids for help and you will be utterly besiged with volunteers. Hands will flail at the speed of sound. Pick me! Pick me!!
Helping is a very big deal. As one who seemingly needs more & more 'help' these days, I love the precious kindergarten kids who know when they are needed and respond with delight. HELP!

5. Make New Friend(s). The expectation of kindergarten is that we are here to make new friends. It's a rule. It's number five. (My sincere apologies: it is my beginning photography skills that edited off the lone letter s in the official photo above.) Kindergarten is not about 'make new friend'. Instead iIt's about 'make new friendS'!! We're all in this together. Circle time includes everyone!  We make circles to include everyone, to gather everyone in!! We are a team. Every new day of kindergarten affords the opportunity for a new friend. MAKE NEW FRIENDS!

6. Be Respectful. Wow. That's heavy-duty stuff for five year olds. Be respectful indeed. I think some of our sports figures, politicians and Hollywood types have forgotten their kinder-training. I see so many FB postings from adults who seem to have forgotten this basic. Be respectful. Wouldn't it be a better world if we could carry respect further and longer and deeper and stronger? Wouldn't we have a better neighborhood, a better community, a better state, a better country, a better planet if we learned more about respect? Perhaps we need the kindergarten children to remind us? Perhaps we need the kindergarten teachers to speak up? Perhaps we need to recognize the kindergarten teachers for all that they do -- on behalf of children, on behalf of families, on behalf of their schools. How about stopping through your elementary school and thanking your kindergarten teachers as the new year gets underway? Getting the new year started is a truly stressful time. Let's be respectful and thank those who lay the foundation for everything that follows. Be respectful and appreciate a kindergarten teacher near you.   BE RESPECTFUL!

Special thanks to my kindergarten friends in Hilliard for inviting me into your midst and sharing those amazing smiles with me during my official GCAC Artist in the Schools visit! I'll be back next year!!

***Remember the promo code to receive 20% off of your copy of my INDIE award winning picture book, "Red, White and Blue" is: RWB911. Perfect resource for 9-11.
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Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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