Dear Mrs. Kindergarten,
How I think of you often. My own kindergarten days are shadowy. But the sweetness of your touch so many years ago, smiles up my childhood memories. How I wish you were here again for our children.
I remember when you turned out the lights one October Day. The decor in the room seemed all too real and my imagation went wild. I couldn’t sing the “Old Woman who Lived Alone” song. Tears came and you silenced the giggles by inviting me to sit with you right on the piano bench.
When I felt warm, wet, and stinky, singing the “Sweet Nightengale” song on stage, there were tears again. But you patiently directed me to the “right room” and told me “It’s okay, accident’s happen. ” Learning those kinds of lessons were ever so hard. But you knew how to tip toe me through a challenge.
We sang about rainbows and traffic lights. We threaded fruit loops on a string. The taste of the homemade applesauce made with our little hands was like biting into wonder. We hopped our way through counting to 20 and traced numbers with slippery finger paint. The simple was extravagant. Fun was served up everyday and we learned.
You cast a calming spell at rest time which helped us stand on our two feet again. I was an instant chef in the toy kitchen. I was prima ballerina in costume. I painted masterpieces. I built Eiffel towers from a rainbow of blocks. Being a child was celebrated and we developed and matured.
Your wisdom was just right medicine. You knew that that play dough, dancing, climbing, and stretching came first before pinching, gripping, and writing. You gave us fat colorful crayons for coloring and fat orange pencils for writing our names. You introduced letters and sounds as friends and read stories that we wanted to read ourselves. Our magic wand finger counted tiny treasures like shiny buttons, marbles, and little beads. Numbers were mind boggling sometimes. But you had tools in your pocket that made it easy.
Thank you for helping, nurturing, and loving us through our first year of “real school.” Thank you for making learning contagious. Thank you for knowing us as children. As a child, you spoke to us carefully, you listened to us mindfully, and you observed our childish ways with a twinkle in your eye.
I am a grown up now, a mom and teacher in fact. It is 41 years later, but Kindergarten is as much a part of me now as it was then. For now, I stand as a teacher preparing to do as you did. And after 41 years, I now know a secret you never told but left for our own discovery. It was wisdom you passed on to us kids no matter what we grew up to be. I know that there’s something more than what we need to learn in kindergarten.
I know to turn up the now whispers of Piaget and Erickson and listen closely. I know to relish and enjoy the years that kids are kids. I will mindfully relive all the joyful times you gave me and offer the same gift to my own children- my daughter, my son, and my kindergartners. Thank you Mrs. Kindergartener for keeping my childhood dear.