Hanging Out With My Kindergarten Friends!
Five minutes could make all the difference! The Interesting Idea this week is all about five minutes I would honour at the end of the day in order to finish the instructional day on a high note. Regardless of what happened earlier I knew these five minutes could turn around any difficult day.
The end of the day is a happy time in school, for both the students and the staff. One of my favourite activities to do was to go hang out in the kindergarten bus lines.
At the height of our school population we had 16 buses and getting all the students on their proper bus was a well orchestrated, total team effort.. For kindergarten students it begins before the final bell because of the coordination that was necessary. We may not be rocket scientists but we can get kindergarten students on the correct bus. I’ll debate anyone about which is more difficult.
Class instruction was still going on in our gymnasium so it meant using the hallways of our school to gather and properly place our youngest learners. At the end of the day when all the other grades were sectioned off in the gymnasium, our kindergartens would remain in the hallways and be placed on the bus first. Large posters using both numbers and symbols were placed on the walls and each student had a laminated bus card attached to their school bags. Attendance was taken and cross referenced with the daily attendance. Heads were counted before leaving the hallway, while walking and when sitting in the bus waiting for the older students.
While all of this was beginning I would pick a line and go sit with them for the final five minutes of the day. The principal sitting on the floor with the kindergartens in the bus line certainly created some excitement. I was a rock star. Of course I had to make sure I rotated my groups so I would be with each at least once in three weeks. That is a long time between visits!
Staff would see me sitting among our students and this sent an important message about the school and our values. I have written this before and this action is another example of an important personal belief.
Leadership is not a title, it is the actions that happen day in and day out.
I would get really important questions/comments when I sat with my Kindergarten friends:
Do you know there is a Marshall on Paw Patrol?
How come you have no hair on your head?
How come you have no hair on your head, but hair on your ears?
We were able to talk about all kinds of things and I found out so much about what was happening in our kindergarten program. Some of it I actually believed.
On some days we just need to chill and relax. We work hard during the day, that is part of our mantra. And in winter when we dress up, all warm and snuggly, waiting for the bus to arrive sometimes we just can’t hold on any longer.
Kindergarten students are going to be in our school for ten years. This is a significant time for the adults to influence, teach, inspire and support. For our students it is the longest time they will be in one educational setting. Lots of opportunity to ‘Work Hard, Be Nice and Make a Difference’
Five minutes a day! That’s all it was. Sitting and engaging with students.
Want to finish each day in a happy place?
Hang out with the kindergartens about to go home and 99.9 % guaranteed you will hear something that will make you smile, laugh and feel blessed to be an educator.