One of the things I enjoy about working at our school is the small community that is created. In each building, we have the joy of knowing the toddlers when they first start with us. As a primary teacher, I love to interact with these smallest members of our community. I step into the toddler rooms during various parts of the day…either out of necessity of talking to one of the teachers or to just say hello to those friends. We also try to have the primary classes interact with the toddlers when appropriate. We all gather together for performances or whole school events. Our primary children role model expected behaviors and help the toddlers move through the room, find seats, or just help when needed.
I also enjoy having my older (mostly kindergarten children) and strong readers visit the toddler classes to read a book during their circle. 3 years ago, Bella went into the Toddler III class to read to Ms. Lisa’s class. Sitting in that circle were a few of my current students, including 2 current kindergarteners. They watched in awe to a child not much older than them but simultaneously waaaaaay older that them: hold a book, read words and show pictures.
Move forward 3 years to those former toddlers walking down the hallway to Toddler I. They made the journey to share a book with Ms. W’s class in their circle. While the girls may not specifically remember that exact day that Bella came into their toddler class to read, they probably have a glimmer of remembrance of admiration of a confident girl who spoke clearly, articulated words, was proud of reading and had the patience and desire to share her skills with friends that were smaller than her. And now they have the opportunity to be that inspiration for these toddler friends…and the cycle continues.
“To understand what the older ones are doing fills the little ones with enthusiasm.” Dr. Maria Montessori