This morning I woke up with the intention of beginning my blog with an introduction of ME! My purpose. My dreams. My hopes. All in relation to why I created this blog. And while, I will touch on that a bit in this post, I wanted to share a story from something that happened during this past week that might touch on the feelings that I hope to share throughout my journey.
I am currently teaching a Grade One class - my students are extremely loving, wildly awesome and bravely intelligent! They think critically, they communicate clearly with one another and they CARE for each other's well being. Sometimes, during a lesson I sit back and observe their conversations, they make eye contact with one another, they listen, respond and share. It makes my heart happy.
This week, on Tuesday morning, during my usual routine of welcoming the students in for the day, greeting them, asking them to line up nicely and exchanging smiles and excitement for the day to come, a boy approaches me and says "Miss Tilling, just to let you know...I have a crush on ______ and so, now you know" my response (well after the little head turn and chuckle to myself) was "Well, isn't that nice, and does she know?" he quickly responds and says "Oh she does Miss Tilling, and now I will get ready for agenda" he walks away with a giant smile on his face. And as I pass by his hook, I can over hear him telling his crush "it's okay Miss Tilling knows about us now". At this point I almost can't contain myself - like seriously way too cute right? These little beings are mirroring the reality that they see and know. So then the little girl looks up, sees me and says while waving her hand back and forth between herself and him, "it's true, we really are crushing on each other". REALLY - she actually said "crushing". The teacher in me just smiles, nods and says that's nice, and somehow I know that it will work itself out in a healthy way. These two expressed their feelings and that is exactly what I like to encourage - "tell me how you feel today" I say to my class - and they do. They speak their feelings because they feel safe enough to do so.
You see, I believe that we need to give children a chance to express themselves and their feelings before we expect them to learn. Whether they are experiencing happiness, tiredness, anger, upset or - "crushing" - let them TALK about it in a safe environment. It's up to me, the teacher to create this.
I hope that this little story brightens your day as much as it brightened mine!