Precious Times

On Tuesday I observed a group of fourth graders standing together talking at lunch recess.  While larger group activity options were available, this particular group opted for “something smaller.”  Essentially they were asking for space to just hang out and be together.  At this time of year, they’re soaking up every ounce of being at the Seed, knowing it’s going to end soon.  A few of them started out in our toddler program and others joined in for kindergarten or later.  They’ve grown in ways that are hard to describe with words.   

I think about their development academically and all they’ve learned and accomplished.  The social skills they’ve acquired are impressive.  Younger children look up to them with awe, fortunate to have such a clear example of what it looks like to be a kind, empathetic human being.  Memories of conversations with them are numerous about leadership qualities, being an advocate or ally, and what their future lives will hold.  I’m excited for each of them as they step into the next expressions of their lives.  They have powerful tools available, due to years of cultivating their sense of self.  

The preciousness of these last few days is even more pronounced after this week’s school shooting in Texas.  Most of the victims were fourth graders, ten-year-olds finishing up their school year together.  I can’t begin to fathom how their families must feel, heading into summer without their precious children.  I feel much the same as I did after Sandy Hook.  Sad, scared, and filled with the overwhelming sense of responsibility of our work, not only to educate our children but also keep them safe at school.  At the same time, I do my best to resist caving in to fear as I maintain hope, knowing what we’re doing will ultimately make this world a safer place.  

As we bring this 2021-2022 school year to a close, I wish you all healthy, happy, safe days ahead.  We will get through these times.  In honor of our graduating class of 2022, I’d like to end with this poem, a collaboration written for graduation by three of our fourth graders:   

I am me

I am a seed
thriving to grow
just like fruits on the tree
and the crystals in the cave
Join us in our quest for unity
because it’s a way of life
for all of us
we can be anything we want to be

I am a sprout
breathing fresh air
that won’t give up
‘til it reaches the end
just like a butterfly
that soars through the night sky

I am a bloom
and it’s my time to graduate
with flying colors
But you need to know
birds don’t just fly
they fall down and get up
I am ready
I am extraordinary
I am me

—Lua Morondos, Matthew Potts, Maya Taplin

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