It all seems to start with my kids these days. I think it’s because the little guys (and gal) are at the center of my life right now. It makes sense that so much of my reflective growth comes from lessons that I’m learning from and with them. Regardless, they are truly wonderful partners in collaborative learning and growth. In fact, it’s all they ever do! They’re amazing. If you spend any amount of time with children you know that they’re constantly looking at the world through an explorer’s lens. “Bright eyed and bushy tailed” is an understatement; and boy do they love to share it!
I had the opportunity to guest teach for a few classes yesterday afternoon. I took my second-graders on a leaf hunt so that we could do crayon leaf-rubbings as scaffolding for some integrated art/literacy learning. I’ll admit that a stroll around the grounds on a beautiful autumn afternoon may have been my primary inspiration for planning that particular lesson, but we did get to the art/literacy part too:). Anyway, these amazing little ones never disappoint in the enthusiastic and joyful exploration department!
“Look at the leaf I found…it’s shaped like a dinosaur!”
“Why are some so big and some so small?”
“This one’s dry but it’s floating in a puddle!”
“Mr. Berg, look what I found!”
“Mr. Berg, guess what I did!”
“Mr. Berg, watch this!”
And so on. So excited to learn. So excited to share. So excited! Kids are great partners in learning and growth.
Just before we were closing down shop for the weekend one of my parent partners gifted me with the words, “Thank you for caring so much and being so involved in (my child’s) progress.”
I was honored and humbled, and a realization swept over me like the blustery wind outside – all of the kids belong to all of us. It all starts and ends with the little ones in mind. Every one of us gives everything we have day in and day out, with the expectation that each of them will be happy, safe, and successful.
I would argue that there’s no educator or parent in our wonderful school community that doesn’t care about the safety, wellbeing, and achievement of every one of the students we serve. While the kind words above will ring in my ears and conjure feelings of joy each time they do, I genuinely believe that they could have been directed at any Meadow Brook stakeholder. “Thank you for caring so much and being so involved in (my child’s) progress,” describes what I see from our faculty and parent partners each day.
I have the greatest job in the world. I work with a community of people who are deeply dedicated to and engaged in ongoing collaborative learning and growth with one another and our collective children. In any given moment we each consider every student we serve quite like we would consider children in our own families. Sure, we all understating the real and important distinctions between the nuclear family, the extended family, and the school family, but in the hallways, in the classrooms, and on the playground of our school, every adult is there for every child, with the same compassion, caring, and kindness that they would extend to their own. I see it all the time. Sometimes I feel like an uncle to hundreds.
Our school is more than a workplace…it’s a village. It’s the village referred to in the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Again, we have our nuclear families and we have our extended families. In the past month I have learned that without a doubt, we also have our school family. With that in my, I offer a deep and sincere ‘thank you’ to my Meadow Brook partners for caring so much and being so involved in our children’s progress!
Live. Lean. Lead.
Dream Big. Work Hard. Be Well.