I went to my child’s Kindergarten classroom today to volunteer and help out the teacher. What a busy room! Bursting with 25 wiggling, eager bodies. The teacher was attempting to have each child sit down and complete an opening sheet as announcements were being made over the intercom. Child after child wanted to share something with her, make a request or simply have her pretty eyes glance his or her way. The teacher did her best to notice each child as they sat down at their chairs; she’d already greeted them all by name in the line outside before they entered the doors.
I did my best to help, unzipping stuck zippers, shepherding kids to their seats. But even two sets of adult hands didn’t seem to be enough. Soon story time came and all the children proceeded to the rug, a clever alphabet rug which had every letter of the alphabet and an accompanying picture. All the children had proceeded to the rug, except one. One cute little girl with big brown eyes sat at her desk. I persuaded her to put away a toy. Then, I asked her if she would like me to go over to the rug with her so she could hear the story and see the pictures better. When she didn’t respond, I asked her where she was supposed to sit.
“On the goat,” she said. Then she shook her head and proclaimed, “I don’t like sitting on the rug!” as her eyes filled with tears.
“Why not?” I asked, genuinely hoping that I could help her out based upon her answer.
“Because, I’m always squished!” she responded.
Twenty five kids on one 8X6 rug. It’s no wonder she was always squished. I thought about the teacher. I bet she felt squished, too. So many hands raised to call upon, so many needs to take care of, so many minds to try and fill.
Wouldn’t it be great if every child was a little less squished? If we hired a few more teachers so each classroom was a tiny less busy, so each rug had a little more room, so each hand raised high in the air, waving slightly, had a few more chances to be called upon. Wouldn’t it be nice for all teachers everywhere to feel a little less squished.