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Every Child is a Star

Parents and Teachers Matter

“What did you learn in school today?” This is a question many parents ask their children when they return home from school. Then there are daily lessons to look at, parent-teacher conferences and regular report cards – all showing what they’ve learned. Yet book learning is only a small part of what helps a person succeed in life.

When I asked a kindergarten teacher, Miss Sailor, why she wanted to teach children that were so young, her answer surprised me. She said “I didn’t at first. I wanted to teach high school or college.”

As our discussion progressed she told me that teaching kindergarten was her first full-time teaching position. She said “kindergarteners are like sponges”: They absorb everything that comes in their direction, both good and bad.  She realized she wanted to teach children at this age, so she could encourage them to have a lifelong love of learning.

Children as Stars

When she retired she was still teaching kindergarten at the same school. Her goal for her students was for them to leave as well-balanced “stars.” She explained that children need to develop 5 basic skills at this age:

• Academic Achievement (numbers, letters, shapes, colors, etc.)
• Social Skills (sharing, playing together)
• Emotional Skills (Learning empathy, patience)
• Fine Motor Skills (painting, writing, learning to use their fine muscles – like the ones in their fingers)
• Gross Motor Skills. (playing ball, jumping rope, learning to use their large muscles)

“Think of them like a five-point star,” she said. When a child found one aspect of learning easy, Miss Sailor would help them develop skills that were more challenging for them. Her goal was for every one of her students to graduate with the 5 skills they’d need to meet the challenges of life.

Miss Sailor said “When your child plays, they’re working hard to develop skills they’ll use later on in life. A well-balanced child shines.”

Balanced-Child Star

Balanced-Child Star

Linda Johnson

Linda is a former Program Assistant and Staff Writer for Rainier Community Cares

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