It's tempting to dismiss the writings of a guy like Fred Rogers as kid's stuff, sandbox sayings. I understand that. I enjoy delving into intricacies and nuances in my areas of interest. It's satisfying to travel as far into an intellectual forest as your wits, intuition, and fortitude can take you. You get to pick up nuggets of golden wisdom, stuff them in your knapsack, and later, take them out to share them with your friends.
I've noticed, however, that in emotionally challenging situations, those nuggets of wisdom go out the window. Simpler messages—those sandbox sayings—are more likely to come to mind and serve as guides when I need help. That's why I love wisdom like Mr. Roger's.
Here's one I'd like to share with you:
"In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers."
It was a real revelation to me, years ago, when I realized that as a teacher I didn't have to know all the right answers, or even all the right questions. It's enough to ask questions and really listen to the answers. What a relief to learn that!
Room 2 News
I am pleased to announce that beginning in January Mrs. Frech will be the Dunham Daycare teacher for kindergartners as they bridge the gap between kindergarten dismissal time and dismissal for the rest of the school.
Mrs. Frech will strengthen the continuity between kindergarten and the already very good kindergarten daycare program.
K.I.D.S. Starts January 14
Beginning on January 14, I will start a new program, Kindergarten Increased Daily Schedule, called KIDS for short.
The KIDS program lengthens the school day so that it corresponds to the dismissal time for the rest of the school, 2:30 most days, and 1:30 on Wednesdays. The KIDS program will be similar to last year’s AEA program. I will serve small groups of students and offer additional educational activities appropriate to each group's interests and needs.
More details will follow, as they were not fully worked out before winter vacation.
I hope that all students* will participate in KIDS, by rotating groups of about four students, on a weekly basis, until the entire class has been served. After 7 weeks all students will have been through KIDS.
The remaining weeks, beginning in March and running through May, will be devoted those students who most need additional instruction.
* I request your comments on this. Mrs. Wilding prefers that I serve just the students who need extra help. I prefer to begin by having everyone participate in the KIDS program so that there's a shared sense of ownership and participation among the classroom community. Neither of us, Mrs. Wilding or I, is inflexible in our thinking on this matter, so I am interested to hear your thoughts. Please post a comment here to indicate your preference:
Yes, everyone participates, or
No, just students who need it.
Solution to Last Week's Puzzle
Thanks to all who sent in the correct answer to last week's cryptogram. The answer is:
"Take care of this moment, and you'll take care of all time."
Tiffany was first with the correct answer, but I sent prizes to everyone who answered correctly.
Thanks for participating!
Here comes the rain! Everyone stay cozy.
I'm looking forward to seeing you all on Monday, and I've enjoyed keeping this online newsletter as a way of keeping in touch, if only mentally, with Kindergarten.
Tomorrow look for Aden's page in the Important Book.