Sunday, July 25, 2010


I am now reading a great book, A Place of Wonder by Georgia Heard and Jennifer McDonough.  I learned of the book over at Creative Literacy and couldn't wait to get started.  I've only just begun and am already loving it.  In the first few pages, I found a poem that I need to read each morning before teaching kindergarten.  Teachers are so often carrying so much responsibility on our shoulders that it's easy to inadvertently stifle the joy and wonder of childhood.  This poem was written by the author after she was disheartened by what she saw while observing a class of kindergarten children.  It speaks volumes about what we need to hold dearly at the heart of the important work we do each day.

Straight Lines

All the kindergartners
walk to recess and back
in a perfectly straight line
no words between them.
They must stifle their small voices,
their laughter, they must
stop the little skip in their walk,
they must not dance or hop
or run or exclaim.
They must line up
at the water fountain
straight, and in perfect form,
like the brick wall behind them.
One of their own given the job
of informer-guard of quiet,
soldier of stillness.
If they talk
or make a sound
they will lose their stars.
Little soldiers marching to and from
their hair sweaty
from escaping dinosaurs
their hearts full of loving the world
and all they want to do
is shout it out
at the top of their lungs.
When they walk back to class
they must quietly
fold their pretends into pockets,
must dam the river of words,
ones they're just learning
new words that hold the power
to light the skies, and if they don't
a star is taken away.
One star
by one star
until night grows dark and heavy
while they learn to think carefully
before skipping,
before making a wish.

This poem helped me to form a few goals for this kindergarten year: to insist on more skipping, more exclaiming and to let the pretends flow freely.


  1. This is wonderful!!! Every child (and parent:) that has you for a teacher is so blessed!!! ~Bridgette

  2. All the kids you teach are so blessed,but I am so blessed the have you as my daughter.I am so proud of you and the choices you have made in life.The world is very lucky.


  3. how sweet! My son is starting kindergarten in one week and I hope that he has a teacher like you! You truly understand the heart of a child.

    May God bless you richly as you lead these little ones!
    ~ ~

  4. Thanks so much, Melanie! I hope your son has a wonderful kindergarten experience!