September 4, 2009 · 9:06 am
The classroom is mostly quiet now, with the exception of the hum of the blessed air conditioner and the occasional ringing of the two bells indicating the necessity of the plant manager. The chairs are pushed in and the tables almost clear of the materials readied for the new year, a year that will be different, yet the same, as many others. Right now the playground is waiting patiently for the laughter of children that will fill it next week and the dolls in the playhouse wait patiently in their crib, clothing in tact and the plastic multicultural foods await preparation in the labeled bins. The smell of fresh, new crayons is in the air and the computers are happily waiting to begin their whir and hum of activity. For me, even music is not necessary yet; the silence is a giant space, open with possibilities and fresh with optimism. A bigger class this year, 24 or 25 new little students, some scared, some overly confident, most excited to begin an adventure that will last for the next 13 years. They enter the institution in the best of possible ways, a soft landing filled with songs, games, colorful paint and new stories told while they sit in squares on a colorful carpet rapt with attention. Friends wait to be made, blank paper filled with colorful drawings and easels beckon for young artists unhampered by thoughts of how things should be, instead filled with the endless imaginings of how things can be. Soon enough, the rhythm instruments will ting and jingle, sticks will tap and little children will bounce around the room, most unable to sit for long. They will be introduced to letters sounds, counting songs, The Pledge of Allegiance and happy songs of friendship. They will make life-long friends here in this safe place and will tell secrets, whisper, and hug with abandon unable to keep from expressing the simple joy of loving a friend or the happiness of running out the door to play. They will learn to appreciate the stillness of their own breath while in yoga postures stretching their bodies and minds to appreciate the stillness and space that allows for peacefulness. The silence is space, yet it is full of possibilities, experiences yet unknown and the peace of planning for future memories that will resonate in a happy place contained in the hearts of the future residents of Room K.
4 responses to “Listen”
I love your classroom – I can’t wait to see pictures! Have a great first day of school!
Don’t you just love the first-day-of-school feeling?!Enjoy the beginning of a new journey…
I wish I were starting kindergarten again in your class! That’s a beautiful vision you created–you are so blessed to be doing this work and those little ones whose lives you’re entrusted to also.
What a beautiful piece, perfectly capturing the stillness and anticipation before kinder class begins for the year. I actually cried reading it! I feel privileged that you will be teaching Hudson, guiding him into a “larger” world. The fact that you appreciate the silence – and the smell of crayons (a wonderfully atmospheric element) – says much, and that you think of the children (or artists) as “unhampered by thoughts of how things should be” is wonderful, because that is what is most glorious about early childhood. The transition from almost unqualified acceptance of the world to critical thinking is such a delicate balancing act, and one that you are clearly most qualified (and gifted) to oversee.