I struggled to decide what to write this month knowing that no words can justify what educators and children are feeling as we finish up school and prepare to embark on a summer and eventually a fall filled with unknowns. That got me thinking about what grounds us in our daily life as educators. What brings us together and provides shared experiences and discussions that build community?
The stories we share.
Today I had a zoom session with my kindergarteners. Out of my fifteen little loves, I was able to see seven smiling faces on my screen and together we looked back and reminisced about our favorite read alouds of the year. We talked about starting the year with The Gingerbread Man and Brown Bear Brown Bear. We talked about I Walk With Vanessa and being kind to one another. We talked about Puff the Magic Dragon and how he taught us what sorrow is. We talked about Found and I Am Enough. They talked about our love for all things Mo Willems and Robert Munsch. We talked about so many stories we’ve shared.
When I started showing them these books though, they saw one in particular and begged me to read it despite weak wifi signals and freezing zoom screens, the book they were yearning to hear is one that makes me do the silliest things. The Book With No Pictures is a book I save for days when we need a pick me up, days that feel more stressful or overwhelming for one reason or another. I put everything down, get out this book, and get silly with my kids.
Today on zoom, in this crazy time as we prepare to say goodbye, my kids were seeking to see me silly one more time. To laugh with me and to know that things can still be normal amidst this chaos. So I sang about eating bugs off the rug and having a hippo friend named Boo Boo Butt with my kindergarteners and guess what happened. I got lost in reading, really hamming it up for them, and when I looked up midway through, siblings had joined, parents were in the background, we were together. We were all laughing and being silly together.
When I asked them what they liked about that book one of my littles said “It make my heart happy Miss Masse, my heart need that now.” I couldn’t have put it better myself sweet girl. I am incredibly thankful for this time of connection with my littles and their families. Times may be different, and they may be hard, but the stories we share ground us best.