Waiting for you to come to this place.
Where ever you're from,
we're glad that you've come.
We've been waiting for you to come to this place."
I can still see her face...
I can still feel the goose bumps on my arms.
Seeing Bev Bos, the teacher, sing, dance, and speak at an Early Childhood Conference, at least 10 years ago,
was a huge moment for me.
She sang that song and talked about the importance of making each child feel "seen" by their teacher. Not just seen...seen, heard, hugged, etc...
Hello's and Goodbye's became something I started to pay closer attention to.
I ask each one of my students to let me know that they have come to this place (Wonder Studio) so that I can tell them I'm glad they came.
I greet these children with a smile and some eye contact and then we move on to the fun stuff.
Sometimes, they will greet me back, sometimes they will hug me...
They often look away or hide behind mommy or nanny's leg.
I'm really ok with that.
Sometimes, the parent or nanny really wants the child to say Hello to me, and that's ok too.
However, I greet the children and adults at Wonder Studio because I want them to know that I know they are there.
And, I'm glad they came.
My daughter tried out a summer camp last week...she came home and said, "Mama, they don't know my name."
I could tell she struggled to understand what her "place" was at this new place she was going to visit every day that week.
The next day, I walked her into the room, sure enough...the teacher did not look up or say hello to her.
Gosh, what a feeling...it brought back to my memory that song (above)...
We finished out the week and sure enough on the last day, there was no Goodbye either.
To be noticed. to be acknowledged helps us to understand our place in this world.
It's more than just manners or being polite.
You will hear me often say children's names at Wonder Studio.
With over 75 different kids coming in each week, it can be difficult to get it right, and I don't always.
But, I study my "list" each morning before everyone enters and sometimes I just have to ask, "Remind me your name."
I remember when we named our own children. We thought so carefully about the names.
I looked up the meaning of the name...
I looked through books, family trees, internet, etc...
All of my dreams and hopes for my child seemed to be wrapped up in this name they would carry for the remainder of their lives.
Saying someone's name is personal.
Saying someone's name can mean they are your friend.
Saying someone's name means you know them.
When it's time to leave Wonder Studio, I want to say Goodbye to each child. Usually, it's a massive heap of hugs, high fives, fist bumps...but I try to say to each child...
"I'm so glad you came today." or
"I'm so happy that I got to see you today."
So, Goodbye is important too.
Sometimes, folks will want to "sneak" out quietly.
I guess they don't want to interrupt me.
I really don't mind being interrupted.
Most of the time, I like being interrupted.I really like saying Goodbye.
I want you to know that some Goodbye's don't lead to another day's hello again.
That's why they are so important.
Well, I guess, there's just one more thing to say, then.
Goodbye...and I'm really glad you came.