A child’s perspective

Every Friday morning I volunteer at a local elementary school, teaching a lesson to 25 students in a second grade classroom.  This morning their very brave teacher and I led the two dozen eight-year-olds in a painting project.  The kids loved the activity – but after the artwork was moved to the hall to dry, some semi-intensive cleaning inside the classroom was needed.  While the students and their teacher continued with the rest of their school day, I quietly stayed in the back of the class, washing brushes and wiping tables.

As I cleaned, the students conducted their daily “morning meeting” – which consists of a variety of mini-activities designed to help the students practice the skill of (respectful) conversation with other people.  I observed one activity where a student was selected to share something of special meaning or importance to him/her, and was allowed to talk about that special item/event/person for 20-30 seconds.  The student then asked his/her peers if any of them had follow-up questions, and the “special” student was then responsible for fielding the questions and providing appropriate answers.

I heard five different students share about their “something special” – and was truly touched (and sometimes amused) by what each student found meaningful enough to proudly bring to the attention of his/her peers.  For example, one student recently learned that the face of his watch actually glowed in the dark – and proudly showed the faint green hue to his impressed peers.  Another student made a rocket out of paper, but hadn’t used one single piece of tape on it at all – everything was held together by making cuts and slits and having each part of the rocket fit together like a puzzle.  This student was incredibly proud of herself – and her peers thought her rocket was pretty cool, too.  A third student shared (bragged) that his parents spoke Polish, and that he was getting good enough to read in English and in Polish – and walked around the room displaying a Polish children’s book so that the other students could see the foreign words.

Witnessing the proud-yet-shy body language of each student, and hearing the excited-yet-tentative tone of their voices, caused me to gently smile at each of them.  I loved getting a small glimpse into what these students found ‘precious’ – and hope that they each get to retain their enthusiastic innocence a wee bit longer.


About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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7 Responses to A child’s perspective

  1. As the late great Art Linkletter was known to say, ‘Kids say the darnedest things.’
    Some amusing, some interesting. Some pleasing to the ear, some not so much.
    You hope for a bright and beautiful future. You hope.


    • Stef says:

      You hope – and you do what you can to help ensure success. At the end of the day, though, the kids will turn out to be the people they are. So you hope they become the best people possible. 🙂


  2. Touch2Touch says:

    This is a banner post, Stef. Delightful to read, sharp and telling observations, an unobvious moral (or two or three, especially for grownups) — Congratulations.
    And how wonderful that you feel you are getting so much, when in fact you are also giving so much!


    • Stef says:

      Thank you for your very kind and encouraging words Judith. Whenever I try to “give” something through volunteering, I almost always end up getting more in return. A win-win situation.


  3. I wish adults cared about other adults as much as children care about each other. My kids get to share special facts like that at school and I really think it helps them validate their own identity in front of a group. It’s great you got to witness something like that in person.


    • Stef says:

      It can be difficult being a kid – no real control or voice in one’s own life. Having the kids get to spotlight themselves – even for 30 seconds – is powerful stuff.


  4. Pingback: #20: Attend a community outdoor concert | Smile, kiddo.

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