There are few moments in my life these days when I can actually say I feel like a kid again. And right up there with Christmas morning, are snow days. It’s funny because I love school; I love everything about it. But, the thrill of getting that early morning phone call telling me that school is cancelled just never gets old. Yes, it’s true, principals work on snow days, but I still LOVE them.
On Tuesday, I sat in my office during our first snow day of the school year. I finished projects that I otherwise may not have gotten to until March or April. I organized files. I checked emails. I read a few articles. I answered phones. And, still, I felt like a kid again.
When I got home I was greeted with the excited squeals of my four kids as they held their hats and gloves and boots because they had waited for me to get home to go sledding. I tossed my school bag on the floor and bundled up. As I spent the afternoon sledding with my family, I forced myself to pause and take in the excitement of the day.
As the day came to an end I was left with happy memories of an unexpected day off from my normal school day routine. To my surprise, I was reminded that we all need to take time to play. I remembered what it means to feel like a kid again. I didn’t take myself too seriously. And, most importantly, I slowed down and enjoyed the moments.
Do you know what I love? Kindergartners!
Do you know what Kindergartners love? Everything!
Kindergartners have passion. They can get excited about anything and everything. They love to learn to read and write. They love to play and make friends. They just love everything we expose them to. The excitement and passion they have for learning can take them far! But imagine what happens when we combine that passion with a purpose.
A few weeks ago I read a blog post from AJ Juliani called “Why Creativity Begins with Purpose (Not Passion)”. In the post, Juliani says:
I used to think all I needed to create something that mattered was passion…I was wrong. It turns out passion might start the engine and get the creative process moving, but purpose is what takes it all the way to the destination (and beyond).
After reading the post, I couldn’t help but notice myself recognizing instances where passion and purpose are a driving force behind student success.
I saw this passion and purpose play out last week when, Dolly the Dolphin and I were invited to Kindergarten EdCamp. The kindergartners who delivered the invitation stood in my office jumping up and down. They told me that they had spent the last several weeks exploring lots of different ways to share information through writing. They squealed as they explained that on February 10th I could come to their classroom, with Dolly the Dolphin of course, and learn to make a newspaper; comic book; greeting card; song or poem; story book and MORE! I quickly hung up the invitation and had my little friends watch as I added “EdCamp” to my calendar.
And then the day came, the day when the passions of our youngest students were combined with purpose! These children were charged with being teachers. Check out the video of our EdCamp highlights.
If we want creative students, we’ll have to allow them to choose a purpose for much of their learning. AJ Juliani
I hope my blog posts inspire risk taking and new ways of thinking. I hope to connect with other educators on our journey to always do what's best for children.