When you think about people you admire, you often think about a favorite teacher, your parents or some other family member, or maybe a friend that has shown great perseverance at some point in time. But, how many of you would say you admire a three year old child? You may say you envy them and their playing all day, or their ability to still see everything so fresh and new. Some may even say they admire their ability to be honest (brutally at times, mainly b/c they do not have control of their internal filter yet). But, have you ever thought about how difficult things for a child really are?
I have a few in my classroom. Alright, MOST of my classroom, that amaze me every day. They do not know English and I do not know their language. Being able to say goodbye in Japanese, Hebrew or Chinese does not provide much use to them. Yet everyday, they come to school, not being able to communicate with their own teacher, trying so hard to understand what is going on. I know when I took my first Chinese class, I was so overwhelmed! Imagine doing that at 3, and ALL DAY LONG!!! No wonder some of them can't wait for nap time. It is the one time of day where they do not have to listen to Charlie Brown's teacher (I imagine that is what I sound like to them) and they can relax.
Some want mommy and daddy still and ask for them all day long. To be able to hear "You'll see him/her soon. You are big boy and you are doing a great job!" all the time has to be annoying. But, what else can I say? Don't cry, suck it up. Really? These little ones work so hard at not crying, and making it through each day with enthusiasm. I am so proud of that.
At the end of my day, when I am utterly exhausted, I think about them. What did they pick up today that maybe they didn't understand yesterday? How can I make it more fun for them and possibly get through better? How can I get them to love school, as much as I love having them? I admire these kiddos. They come to school, struggle with the frustration of not having a clue, and keep doing it over and over with determination that many people my age do not have. I truly admire them. For now, the only thing I know to be true in all languages are smiles and hugs. And that, I can make sure they understand from me.