April 26, 2013
Good afternoon all,
My middle son is the teacher of Jane, a child whose life was drastically changed by the terrorist event in Boston. Their school was on spring break and there were many gatherings and meetings for staff to discuss how to handle re-entry the following Monday. At the close of the first day back Nikolas sent me an email from a parent of a child who is Jane’s best friend. The mom expressed gratitude for her child’s day, the way it had been handled and the care offered at the school for anyone needing it. And she was grateful that her daughter had been assured that life was going to go on and that her school was a place on which she could depend to take care of her needs and fill the gap of her friend who would be out for a while to come. In the end, that is what we want for our children; a place where we know they are being loved and cared for. When I was fresh out of college I had grandiose ideas and plans for revolutionizing education, which I carried out for awhile. But by the time my own children were ready to enter kindergarten I realized that all I really wanted was for them to spend the day at school with a teacher who liked them. That was what mattered to me most.
Having all this brought so abruptly to my forefront recently I looked carefully at our own school throughout this past week. I watched the hugs and personal attention to each child every morning at arrival time, and the chorus of friends’ greetings and smiles. I smiled at the scene of children being snuggled on the bench under the pine trees and the caregivers’ attention to individual needs and news. I was delighted by the children’s ease and comfort interacting with the caregivers around, and each child’s interest in spending quiet moments in conversation alone with them. There is freedom to be out and about and opportunity to feel close and snuggled. There is safety and reassurance, love and caring, time to be one’s self and to learn to be with others. There is consistency and a constant atmosphere which sets a child at ease. Whatever else goes on every day, the most basic need is being met, and that allows children to be open to all the other moments that arise with an unfettered mind, ready to absorb all the information and experiences that come their way.
On another note….When we weren’t off discovering, creating and doing our own thing this week we were busy writing and illustrating our newest book and struggling to come up with “U” words. Next week we will be focusing on letter “V”.
Make it a great weekend. Cat