Breathe, Pause, Look, and Know

As my day ended, I I was feeling less optimism than I like. I was looking, but not seeing the whole picture. I looked at my day and the week behind me, and saw moments of stress, and times where I lacked patience and reacted instead of responded. I noticed the times my students reacted instead of responded, and was pained by the reminders of the times they were unkind to one another, and the times they struggled with their learning and being.

Then, as I was heading out, I turned back to our learning space as to shut off the light. As I did I felt my inhale and my exhale. As I took that breath, I paused.

First my eyes fell on this bulletin board. My breath deepened as I saw the faces of each of my kindergartners — created by their own hands, using their big beautiful brains and awesome hearts. I was struck — as I so often am — by their awesomeness, their courage, their amazing willingness to try, and their remarkable ability to do.

As I turned once more towards the door, my gaze fell upon this white board. We read Herman and Rosie together earlier in the week, and — inspired — we created things we loved. We shared a bit about ourselves with this art.

Again, my breath deepened, and my heart filled with peace and joy as I saw — in my minds eye — each one of those beautiful humans working hard to find a way to place things they loved onto the paper, and share it with each other. We are fantabulous humans. We are doing remarkable things together. We are learning skills. We are developing and strengthening mindsets and thinking practices. We are breathing, and growing our awareness and understanding of self and others. We are existing together, taking risks, trying new things, sharing, learning, growing, and being us. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we are impatient and unkind. Sometimes we react instead of respond. But, we are also kind, and helpful, peaceful, thoughtful, and loved.

I was thinking about all of this the other day when I heard Nicole Avant say “It takes time.” I thought to myself, “It takes time. Yes! It takes time! Learning. Living. Being our best selves. Figuring things out. Being in community. It. Takes. Time.”

Wonderful things are happening in Kindergarten. Wonderful things are happening in my Kindergartners. Wonderful things are happening in me. It takes time, and each one of those moments in time is filled with opportunity, grace, and possibility.