In All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum writes, "Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in Kindergarten."
Yesterday, I was reminded of this as I spent the day with Mrs. Arda Thomson's Kindergarten class. As an often unseen member of Balmoral Hall School's administrative staff, opportunities to interact with students are rare. However, when I decided to observe a day in the life of a five-year-old BH girl to further my work in Communications, I was welcomed.
Following morning announcements, we sat attentively while Mrs. Thomson read Rocks, Jeans, and Busy Machines: An Engineering Kids Storybook by Alane and Raymundo Rivera. Then we studied mathematics, identifying 2-D and 3-D shapes before our next lesson. We were given marshmallows and toothpicks and asked to build cubes. After that, we explored blueprints from various buildings to prepare for drawing our own. Together, we designed hospitals, castles, and more.
American educator and psychologist Dr. JoAnn Deak has developed a theory of confidence, competence, and connectedness as vital to girls’ self-esteem.
Sharing these traits enthusiastically, we began to build our structures using recyclables. The students excitedly praised their peers. "Wow, yours looks super!"
Mrs. Thomson explained to me the day's exercises support certain science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) learning outcomes from their current unit of inquiry, "Sharing the Planet: Our Earth, Our Responsibility."
In that regard, they pass with flying colours!
Meanwhile, I thought about talents such as focusing, innovation, peacemaking, adapting, and more, which we model throughout our lives. In my brief time in their classroom, I noted their imagination, their curiosity, their empathy, their resilience, and, perhaps most importantly, their enthusiasm. If this moment in their early childhood development is any indication, I believe they will continue to foster a love of learning at 15, at 35, and at 65 plus all the years after that.
To them, I say: Girls, you are risk-takers. Try not to doubt yourselves. Keep growing. Help one another. Remember to tell your stories.
As Fulghum suggests, that is all you really need to know.View more photos from our #DayinK on Flickr.