Yet, overall administration and teachers spend the vast majority of their time and energy celebrating and training the seniors of a school. Little time or even consideration is offered to acknowledge that despite their early developmental stages, the little ones have leadership potential, let alone existing skills. Is it not better to take a proactive and scaffolding approach by addressing the issues and encouraging leadership in these young years?
Teaching kindergarten has opened my eyes to the wisdom and leadership demonstrated by these preschoolers. Yes, they sometimes exhibit spicy behaviour and they lack full maturity, however, for the most part, they are more open to coaching than many of the hardened senior kids. In addition, how often have we all heard great pearls of wisdom shared by a four or five-year-old?
In 2007, just prior to teaching kindergarten full time, I taught social skills as a prep relief teacher. I was blown away then at the wisdom and leadership of these younger students, which inspired me to write Empathy energy elves and Fairies. Initially, I wrote the story to feature my grade 4 class with support from the kindies, but since then I have edited it to specifically celebrate kindergartens while still using the names of my grade four class at the time. At the end of the story, it is through the dramatic, insightful, yet simple actions of these little people that inspire the older students to stop and listen.