Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012 (with a PS for parents)

Yesterday morning was a happy day in kindergarten. Lots of things happened to "fill our buckets" with happiness. Jaelyn and Carley brought in a Poinsettia plant to decorate our room. Leland and Maranda joined everyone else in learning all the names of all the classmates—a first in my more than thirty years in the classroom here at Dunham. Aidan showed mastery of the Soundabet and Robert demonstrated his ability to zip through all the sounds in just over half a minute. Finally, Wyatt & Jaelyn took care of a sink drain that had clogged up with debris without anyone asking them to. Their initiative is just the kind of thing I love to see in school.

Sometimes you'll see "names on the board" for behavior problems; yesterday in our class you saw it's complement: names of the board for exemplary behavior. It feels good to highlight behavior we like to see.

In the morning message we hoped to hear from Santa Claus. We've had some correspondence with him lately.

And we were not disappointed. Near the end of the day, Lori from the office brought us this letter.

Post script for parents:

After school let out I learned about the events in Connecticut that happened yesterday morning. I was stunned, numbed, and depressed by the news.

Sadly, senseless violence has become more frequent in America. We as a people need to take this problem seriously, think well and deeply about it, and figure out how to respond helpfully and sensibly.  I do not know the answers. Together we must find our way out of this mess.... and denial isn't going to get us there.

For now, may I respectfully suggest a few things for your consideration.

  • Please reassure your children. Events like these are still rare.
  • Limit your child's exposure to the news, the internet, and news radio. We don't need to know every detail of these events. 
  • Avoid having adult discussions about about Newtown in the presence of your child so as to avoid provoking needless worry and anxiety. 
  • Find things to do with your child that are enjoyable and distracting. I like being outdoors personally, and that's how I spent Saturday morning.
  • And finally, give your children priority ahead of computers, iPhones, texting, etc.  Look your children in the eyes. Give them ALL of your attention. Tell your children that you love them. Hug them.

Be well.

Be well.

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