There’s this cute little poem that talks about how everything you need to know in life you learned in kindergarten – sharing, being kind, how much glue to use, you know, the basics. I’m not here to dispute that, it’s true. Those things are all important and everyone should have learned them in kindergarten. Good job, kindergarten teachers, your job is not an easy one.
On that note, learning about life doesn’t stop at the basics of stop after kindergarten. You see, kids should be learning how to be kind, share, and so much more at every grade level.
I currently teach 4th grade. If you ask any of my students on any given day what my dream for them is, they all have the same answer.
To be a good person.
A good person portrays all of those kindergarten qualities, but as you get older, life gets more complicated. 4th graders are no longer arguing about which purple crayon was theirs (usually) or how long their turn on the swing was, but they are trying to find a group of friends, make basketball teams at recess, get good grades, and much more.
Most recently, my class had a week-long unit about empathy. What does it feel like to be in someone else’s shoes who gets picked last for basketball at recess as everyone rolls their eyes? What can you do when you’re so frustrated with someone you want to scream?
Learning new emotions and ways to deal with this emotions isn’t forgetting about being kind, it’s learning to be kind in a much more mature way. One I hope my students can carry with them as they continue on the path to be good people.