I've been thinking about how important it is to know yourself. Or maybe, it is more the importance of being able to think and reflect about why we do the things we do. Then I started thinking, why am I having these thoughts? Maybe it is because I have some people pleasing flaws that steer my mind to obsess over if what I said or did in a situation. I sometimes overly worry, was I too harsh or hurtful? Most of the time my words/actions aren't overly anything because I am often harder on myself than I need to be. Maybe it is because of a conversation I had today with a friend who is trying to figure out how to be more balanced. As she shared her thinking, I thought about how I am often stopping to evaluate my priorities to feel more balanced. I have to weigh what I need with what my family needs with what my students need with, yeah, the list goes on... Or, maybe it is because I am trying to write about word learning in the classroom and I can't stop thinking about how important it is to share assessment data with kids. Sharing what I find out about my students from assessments even in the context of a simple conversation can help my kids become more aware of what they know (or need to know). All of these thoughts (I am hoping) connect to the story I want to share next.
Last night we visited old friends who have younger children, a little boy (Jonah, 4) and a little girl (Reese, 5). Before walking in their home, I reminded my two boys (one son was at soccer) who are 8 and 11, about how big they might seem to the younger kids. I asked them to give the younger kids some of their time and to play with them. After hearing a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos finish up, I decided to see how it was going in the play room. As I was walked in, I saw little Reese look up at my oldest son, who is towered over this petite Kindergartner and say with the sweetest voice, "Can you read?" I watched my son's eyes connect with mine first confused (because the 11 yr old was thinking, duh, of course I can read) then as I smiled he got it. He looked back at her and at the twinkle in her eye able to wisely smile back appreciating her amazement. "Yeah, I can." he said. In that moment I was amazed at little Reese and her appreciation for reading. She knows its possibilities and that she wants to be a reader. I know this because I could hear the wonderment in her voice and knew she understood the magnitude of reading just in the mere fact that she asked this deep question.
This little one is beginning to ask smart questions that will help her know herself and what a good habit to be in. She reminded me of how important it is to keep asking questions of myself and of others when it comes to trying to know myself each day. In first grade, we also have been in the habit of trying to know ourselves. We end the day with time to think and elaborate (if time) on a question that you might want to reflect about. "What went well for you today?"
(photo from Creative Commons by Ken Bosma)