Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's All About Relationships

I love teaching young children. I love stacking blocks and playing games. I enjoy even the loud raucous almost-out-of-control excitement and the quiet times of conversation and reflection. I love discovering a new activity or material or equipment or idea. And I love to see their eyes light up as they master a skill or discover a new idea or concept.

But this week two things happened to remind me that the key to teaching kids is not activities or materials or equipment, not blocks or paint or games.

First, while playing a game, "M" looks up at me and says, "I know your name." Now, I must admit, her statement was a surprise to me - because we've been together for months now and call each other by name every week, so of course she knows my name. I said, "Really, what is it?" (I thought that maybe she would call me something silly and we would have a laugh.) She smiled shyly and said, "Mr. Scott." And we continued with our matching game (talking about other things).

Later, after everything was done, I was walking in the hall. I saw "J" and his mother walking toward me, on their way out of the building, too. "Good-bye, J," I said. "J" angled his walk right into me to give me a hug. (An unexpected hug!) I hugged back, he moved away and left. No words spoken.

I pondered these two encounters. I remembered what it is all about--relationships. The relationships between the children, the relationships between me and each each child - that's where the real teaching and learning happens. Beyond what the walls in my room look like, beyond whatever items I put on tables and the floor - the relationships we build help each of us (me included) to learn more about the world and our place in it.

Names are serious business. Connections are important. And I would be wise not to take for granted either one.

5 comments:

  1. I love this too Scott! And I feel exactly the same way:)

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  2. Thanks Kristin and Deborah! :)

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  3. "What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches." - Karl Menninger

    Donna :)

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  4. That's a great quote, Donna. Thanks!

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