“It’s the little things…” I’ve said these words countless times in my life when reveling in some small moment that brings me great joy, like pouring fancy creamer into my usually black coffee or when the shoes I want go on super clearance sale and they actually have my size. It’s the little things that can bring joy to an otherwise dull day.
The work we do in school however is not little, it’s quite big, in fact. It’s safe to say that teachers have one of the most important jobs on the planet. I mean think about, where would any of us be without the great teachers we’ve had in our lives. The teachers that I spend my days with are among the best that you’ll find, anywhere. They understand the impact that they have in the lives of kids. And, when you stop to think about it, coming to this realization can be very overwhelming.
This week I watched my teachers welcome 500 children into our school. Every child who came through the door had his or her own story. I watched as the teachers quickly began building relationships and turned anxiety into excitement.
As I listened to my teachers reflect on these first four days, many of them were worried that they just weren’t doing enough for their students. I heard them worry out loud that they wouldn’t have reading groups up and running fast enough or that they haven’t spent enough time teaching routines for math workshop. Each time, I made sure to remind them of the little things. For example, all of the kindergarteners made it off the school buses and found their teachers this morning, the 5th graders choose who they want to sit by at lunch and have made sure that no one feels left out, all of the new students have spent time with our guidance counselor and made some friends, all of those kids who couldn’t find their classroom on the first or second day made it on their own today.
These, my friends, are the little things.
These are the things we take for granted but as they compound over time they add up to the big things. Those “a-ha moments” will happen. Those moments when you feel like you’ve helped a child turn a corner will happen, too. But, don’t discount the little things. All those times you took a minute to help a lost child find his classroom or that moment you encouraged a child to invite a new friend to sit with them at lunch, the few minutes you talked to a nervous parent to reassure her that you’ll take good care of her child.
The little things matter.
You and your students are on your way to great, BIG things-just don’t discount the little things along the way.
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.