Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I spent the early afternoon in kindergarten.  The teacher introduced me as her friend who was shot, the friend she mentioned that morning as she was explaining why she didn't like guns, and why she didn't want guns to be part of the pictures they were drawing..

I explained about the young man who didn't know to use his words instead of his gun, and I made them laugh when I admitted being shot in the butt.  They are only 5, after all, and the lesson is best delivered gently, over time.  

We went right on to read Caps for Sale; they were excellent monkeys.  Afterwards, the teacher drew the illustration they described on the white board, emphasizing that the monkeys had eyes and ears a body with the appropriate number of appendages.  They got to vote on the length of the tail.  The grass and the sky were important, too.  

There's so much to learn in kindergarten.  Where you are in the world is just one small part of it.

I sat at a table with 4 scholars, chatting them up as they drew their own illustrations.  The boy with the green eyes didn't want to draw the monkeys or the tree or the caps; he wanted to draw a car.  After determining that he really and truly did want to draw a car and only a car, I moved on to more important matters..... like where was the yellow crayon?

Sharing is an important part of the lesson, so when the green eyed darling showed me his vehicle and invited me to watch as he finished it off  the whole table began to pay attention.  

And this is the gun.

I took a deep breath and put on a sad face.  Oh.  I don't like guns.  Neither does Teacher, does she.

But it's a tankIt has to have a gun.

Oh.  I get it.  But I still don't like it.

Thinking.... staring at the drawing.... then erasing the long weaponry tube atop the tank he smiled and asked for help finding the white.

Okay.  It's an ambulance to help people.

And on they went to a heated discussion about the efficacy of using a white crayon on a white piece of paper while I sat back, amazed at the lessons learned.


  1. And I hope the young scholar remembers the lesson for a long time.

  2. I'm glad that you could impart that message. You have permission, having been shot. Not everyone can get away with it.

  3. So happy to hear that you are back with your small friends. I'm sure they were delighted to have you join them at the art tables. I go back next week--3 classes of first grades, 3 of second graders. We will be sharing Scary Mary, about a hen who chases away all of her friends by being mean. No guns.

    1. I'm so glad to be back with them! I'll have to check out Scary Mary.


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