As we approach the season of gratitude, or heightened gratitude, I have been remembering Sara’s earliest days of teaching. She was a member of a fantastic team of teachers, The All Stars, who taught so much more than letters and numbers.
In the spirit of coming together and feasting, the teachers created a special dining in experience in the classroom. The idea was to enjoy the bounty of their harvest from the small classroom garden, mostly kohlrabi if I remember correctly! It was the sturdiest member of their plantings.
The teachers set the table with forks and napkins, a complete place setting. I imagine the table was decorated with harvest themes. The garden veggies were supplemented with traditional foods like popcorn. Hey, it’s a thing, see Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving special for details.
As the children gathered at the table, the teachers gently modeled table manners, and inclusive speech. They let every child know that there was a place for them at the table, that they mattered. For some of the children, this was a new experience, or at least not a common one. How to pass around the food, saying please and thank you, where to put elbows in a tight seating. All life skills they could carry forward so they could move confidently into the world.
When you donate to the programs here, you are doing more than just supporting readers, writers, and teacher candidates. You are helping to bring role models into the class room. You are providing teacher candidates the opportunity to give students the kind of attention that shows children they matter.
Something to be thankful for.