Like most teachers, I have many wonderful memories of each year's group of students I've taught. Those funny moments, hysterical stories, soul-searching questions and eager explorations could fill a book effectively mapping my teaching career. They are more milestones to me than any of my teaching evaluations could ever be.
As a kindergarten teacher, I don't always feel that I'm teaching lessons or concepts in the traditional sense. What I do feels more interactive and social in much the same way I find myself operating when I'm in "military spouse mode." Meeting new people, making introductions, following social etiquette, trying to put people at ease, guiding the audience to feel welcome... the same format applies when I'm seated with five and six year olds on the floor, ready to sing or share a story.
Each year, one of my favorite "introductions" is between my Super Stars and Martin Luther King Jr.
My students enjoy some background stories and information, Weekly Reader or Scholastic usually provide take-home fliers, posters and activities, and then we listen to the "I Have a Dream" speech. In its entirety. And every year that my students have listened to the speech, you could have heard a pin drop on carpet. The wigglers, the blurters, the most animated of children, all transfixed, for the entire speech.
There's something about listening to a message that has purpose and truth behind it- even children can intuitively feel the speaker's intent. Some of my favorite student comments:
"Teacher, I like that man. He said I could go to school with my friends."
"He has a big voice, but he's not scary or mean."
"Did his dream come true, Teacher?"
Introduction made. Talk amongst yourselves.