>There are moments…moments that cause you to take a sharp indrawn breath, your heart to skip a beat, and your internal camera takes a quick snapshot that stays with you forever. Those are moments that you end up cherishing, reliving, and trying to recreate.
Moments like that, you would think, cannot be contrived. True. But they can be nudged, especially when children are involved.
Two years ago I had a child in my class who had a hard time being still. He was always fidgeting, talking, touching, yelling, etc. But he was a very smart child. We studied Mexico for the May 5 holiday. I taught him how to find Mexico on a globe. (Remember, at this time, he was only 2.) After a few days, several of the children got it, including Jumpy. One afternoon, Jumpy’s mom came early to pick him up. Knowing that she sometimes had a difficult time with him and probably felt overwhelmed, I asked Jumpy to show his mom where Mexico was on the globe. With shy confidence, he marched to the globe, and without any hesitation, put his little finger on Mexico. He looked at me to see if he had gotten it right and I nodded. The look of pride on his little face was beyond words. He looked at his mom, to see if she was proud of him. Her face lit up and she smiled with pride. I knelt down and hugged him, telling him how proud we were and how smart he was. I hoped this encouraged mom a little and the look he had on his little face when he knew he had gotten it right was unforgettable.
This morning, a similar scenario. We have been studying Ireland. We live in America. Get in a boat, sail across the ocean, and arrive in Ireland. One of my smaller 3 year olds came in. I chatted with mom for a while, then she was about to go. Little Bit was getting toys off the shelf to play with before breakfast and I had an idea. I asked mom to wait a second and asked Little Bit to show her where Ireland was on the globe. He first showed us where we live (America), then we sailed across the ocean, and landed in Ireland. His mom’s eyes popped and she asked if he had gotten it right. I said yes. The look on her face was as good as the looks the children get. She was so proud of him, and surprised. Ireland is a tiny place on the globe, after all.
There are also moments that have nothing to do with teacher input. Three years ago, a little boy was playing with Co-Teacher’s valentine bear. It lit up from the inside. When the little boy touched it and it lit up a soft red color, his eyes got really wide, his mouth opened, he drew in a sharp breath and held it….
…and that’s what I’m talking about.