One must ask children and birds
how cherries and strawberries taste.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
My first year as a preschool teacher/director has come to a close. What an amazing adventuer I’ve had with these three to four year olds. The entire experience is so different than teaching in the inner city for so many years. Each day with them has been a blessing. Truely, this is what teaching is really all about. The excitement of learning, maybe not following a lesson plan because they needed to find out about something new. It didn’t matter what I, a simple adult, had planned. There were more important things to discover!
The last day of school was spent on a field trip to a local zoo. It brought back so many memories of having been at the same zoo with Derrick on school field trips or family excursions. Families came with us to drive, enjoy in the fun, and celebrate their children’s growth. We enjoyed lunch together in the shade. It was a perfect day.
At one point, I was with two of the boys and their families in a jungle camp. They were truly scientists in an exotic setting. They showed me lizards, snakes, and were fascinated by the skeleton of an elephant. A father shared a fascinating fact about the iguana. I was standing close by, observing, as I often do with the children. The father turned away, talking to one of the other adults in the group. But the boys weren’t done learning yet. One asked the other a question, who honestly answered, “I don’t know. Read about it here to find out!”
This nearly answered the question I’d been asking myself about this year. Did I teach them enough? The right things? I’ll continue to reflect on that. But I do know with certainty that they have the thirst for knowledge. And more importantly, they know how they will go about finding their answers.