Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Running Out of Letters in JK

The happy noises of learning and living in community are always around me, especially so at my desk in my office since both the JK and SK classrooms are immediately across the hall. While I am busy with my work I frequently hear the pulse of play, social trials and successes, joyful songs, and sometimes loud complaints and frustration. Once I overheard two students waiting to go outside for recess just outside my door. One commented to the other “So many letters. Why couldn’t they just make five of them?” immediately answered by “Then we would run out of things to learn too quick.”

In the middle of it all, the positive, encouraging voices of our teachers steering the group on their
safari of learning keeps things going where they need to go. I’m amazed at their ability to create the
order and atmosphere they do. I had the opportunity to become another voice in the room when I
read a book to JK two weeks ago. The book was on creation, telling the story of God’s handiwork
with beautiful artwork. We had fun reading through the story and trying to imagine all these things
happening for the first time. “I am one of God’s creations!” shared a jubilant child with me. That was
a highlight of the week for me – both in its truth and its spontaneous offering.

Watching and listening to our youngest learners at the start of the year is exciting to me. With fresh
eyes and in circumstances and surroundings very new to them, they are experiencing the gift and
challenge of living in a community of learning. They are learning to look with their eyes in a more
focused way at God’s world and recognize with their heart God’s claim and purpose for them. I really don’t mind the noise that process creates and it is a sound I won’t grow tired of soon.


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