The Joys of Kindergarten
“When you teach kindergarten, you never have to grow up.” I was told this by my cooperating teacher while I was student teaching a couple years ago, and it has stuck with me since. The minds of these five and six-year-olds help me to slow down and take in each day as a Kindergartener. As adults, we get caught up in all our responsibilities and what’s happening on the weeknights and weekends, even worrying about all the things coming in the distant future. I find that I remind myself quite often to take a breath and enjoy the little moments that happen in kindergarten. That little moment might be when my class and I erupt into laughter after purposely singing a song too fast or because I tell them all they need at their desk is a smile on their face. This direction always results in all the kids trying not to smile, which never, ever works. We all end up smiling and giggling, completely beside ourselves. Other times, that moment is when they say “Ms. Fuhrmaaaannnn, you always say that” when I tell them I’m going to read them one of my favorite stories (I tend to say that about
every book we read). These moments help me remember that we really don’t have to grow up or worry about the next thing all the time. We can simply embrace the funny mishaps or the times where we can have a learning moment. A kindergarten mind bounces back and tends to
not dwell on things that don’t work out the “right way.” As we get older, there’s more pressure to get everything right and be perfect. In a sinful world, that’s not only impossible, but very discouraging because we will never reach those expectations. Through the eyes of a
five-year-old, however, our mindset around mistakes and things not going right is “mistakes show us that we’re learning.” We don’t need to be perfect, and the relief that I have seen on kids’ faces after we repeat that motto is unmistakable. If part of growing up is losing that
mindset, my teacher’s quote holds even more weight, and you don’t even have to teach kindergarten. Never grow out of the child-like wonderment over learning, the quick forgiveness after making simple mistakes, or the ability to be able to slow down and enjoy the small things. I get to learn and grow alongside my kindergarteners every day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Miss Anna Fuhrman
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