As I prepared to start the year in kindergarten in these unprecedented times, I carefully evaluated which of my favorite read alouds I would choose to share with my new students in the first days of school. I always look for new favorites to mix in with my old favorites but this year, I had a new lens to consider: which stories could my students see their experience in? While masks and social distancing don’t make their way into many back to school books (yet at least), Connie Schofield-Morrison’s book “I Got the School Spirit” exemplifies the feelings of excitement, anxiety, and embracing the unknown that many of us are experiencing these days.
In sharing this book with my students, I was thrilled with their connection and pleasure in hearing this book. Here are some truly first days of kindergarten quotes from my littles:
“I cry like that but it be okay”
“I don’t eat eggs for breakfast but I eated cereal and that helps my brain be ready. Her brain be ready with eggs”
“We go home after math. I give mommy hugs”
“We not can share food but we get to pick our food. We eat until our body feel good.”
These simple moments of connection over the images and text in this book provided me a glimpse into the thinking my students are doing. The reality is, this is their normal.
“I Got the School Spirit” provided them a window into another way school could be done while also being a mirror to some of their feelings and experiences. These times aren’t easy in education, or anywhere for that matter, but through books and conversations we can connect and thrive, even while maintaining a 6 foot distance. Thank you Connie Schofield-Morrison for reminding me of that.