For the past week or so, my husband and I have been serenaded by a visiting mockingbird during the night time hours. At first it was intriguing to try to figure out what kind of bird sang so melodious when everything else around us was asleep. Then it became a bit tiresome, as we pleaded to each other (and the bird) for slumbered silence. Last night I realized that our frequent visitor is not going anywhere, at least not until he finds a mate, and I might as well embrace his gift of nocturnal song.
This reminds me of the visits that I received to my classroom on a daily basis during the past school year. Every morning, as I greeted my Kinders in Room 608, I had extra visitors, too. Some were former students of mine. Others simply found their way to my room because it was the first one they encountered when they stepped into the hallway from the bus ramp. And like the mockingbird, each seemed to have a particular purpose to their morning visit.
- T., a tall freckled face girl with a developmental disorder, was fascinated with butterflies. She would greet me daily with her latest coloring sheet of butterflies bursting with patterns of color.
- S., one of my Kinders from the year before, made sure that she stopped by to ask me to check out her newest tooth, specifically to see how much it had grown overnight. Of course I had to check out the wiggly loose ones as well.
- Her cohort, K. would always be by her side, ready for a quick hug and eager to share the title of the latest chapter book she was reading.
- Y., an ESL student, dropped off her sister in the classroom next door. She never told me, but I think she liked to come by so that I could practice basic Spanish with her. She would giggle shyly as I tried to say to her, "Good morning beautiful girl."
- And then there was J. He was a gentle giant of a boy in 4th grade who came by regularly to check on one of my students whom he affectionately referred to as his "Little Buddy." He would patiently help him unload his lunchbox and daily binder from his backpack, linger for a few minutes to help him begin his eyeopener activity, and then quietly slip away.
All along I presumed that these frequent visitors needed to see me each morning to help them start their learning day. But now I realize it a little bit differently. You see, I needed their frequent visits just as much to start my learning day, too.
*the names of students in this post are reflected as initials to maintain their privacy and safety.