I begin class each day with the children in the front of the room to have a discussion. We talk about the day, how our evenings went, and any other pressing issues that the children want to talk about. It provides a nice, comfortable platform for children to air any concerns or any good news, as well.
One particular day I shared with the children how frantic I was that morning. To make a long story short, I had an assignment due for a masters course that I turned in a couple days early, but I was afraid it wasn't received. So, I shared how nervous I was, and of course the children were very supportive.
Later in the day, I received the news that my assignment was indeed received, and I saw my score. I was so excited that I just said out loud to the class that my professor did receive the assignment and I shared my score with the children.
The amount of support, clapping, and hooting and hollering that the children showed in that moment was mind-blowing. It was an unprompted show of respect. I was literally speechless. Their smiles showed how much they cared and how much concern they had for me.
I do my best to build solid relationships with each child. I definitely believe that our morning discussion time helps with building relationships. This is the first year that I've been so consistent with that routine. And now I wouldn't change that it. Are there any academic standards being covered during that 5-10 minute conversation? No, not really. But the pay-offs are amazing. The children are learning to show empathy towards others. They are finding ways to show their support of others. And isn't that what we want for our future society?