School days, school days,
almost back to school days

There are little children out there who are sooooo EXCITED about going to school! They are wondering, "Will my teacher like me?" "Will I have friends?" "Am I smart enough?"

There are also parents out there who are very anxious about sending their children to school. They are wondering, "Will the teacher like my child?" "Will the teacher see the unique qualities and wonderful spirit of my child?" "Will the teacher keep my child safe?" "Will the teacher challenge my child and help her learn?" "Will my child be successful?"

And then there are grandparents like me who only want their grandchildren to be happy, laugh, learn how to get along with friends, and play. We realize how short life is and we know that our grandchildren have many years to be adults, sit in front of a computer, or do worksheets. They have one chance to be four, five, or six. Don't take that away from them!

When most other educators and administrators are saying push, rush, get those test scores higher, I am saying, "Slow down. Love. Play. Talk. Sing. Explore. Read. Dance." I believe in curriculum, and standards, and research, and skills. I believe in working hard and helping children learn as much as they can. But I also believe in BALANCE, CHILDHOOD, and EMOTIONAL IQ!

Someone recently remarked that every day can't be totally happy, but each day we can find "little happies." I just love that! Create "little happies" in your classroom each day this coming year. Whether it's with a song, story, finger play, cheer, art, cooking…whatever "happy" that makes you and your children connect with a smile. I know you've got an ever expanding curriculum, ever higher standards, and more challenging children each year, but promise yourself each day to build in a little "happy" along the way!

                                                              Dr. Jean

School Days
(Traditional Tune)

School days, school days,                                       ( Sway from side to side with
Time for back to school days.                                   hands behind your back.)
Backpacks, and pencils, and paper, too              ( Hold up fingers as you
You’ll need crayons and scissors and sticky glue.             name items .)
Shopping for new shoes and clothes                    ( Point to shoes and clothes.)
Who will be my teacher I want to know.             ( Hold up palms.)
New friends and lots of good times                      ( Clasp hands as if excited.)
I can’t wait to go back to school.                          ( Fist in the air.)

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