Saturday, November 5, 2011

Joy is meant to be shared

Whenever something exciting happens in my life, my instinct is always the same - to pick up the phone and call my family. When happiness occurs, I feel an immediacy to share my joy with the ones I love. I always attributed this urge to the close relationships I have with my family. But, this week, I learned that this instinct to share my joy with others may be just that... instinct.

On Thursday, our school had "Enrichment Day." All the students in our school travelled around the building to hear from special visitors. My kinders learned about sea creatures with a visitor from the zoo, experienced percussion instruments and the violin from musicians, and learned about the writing process from a famous children's author and illustrator. It was a great day - full of excitement and new experiences.

Something "hit me" that day. My students' favorite presentation of the day was from the percussionist -- who showed and played everything from the cow bell to symbols to a variety of drums. There was something very thrilling to the kids about VERY LOUD sounds in school... and it was completely acceptable! 

Every time something exciting happened, or every time something made my students smile, they immediately turned around to look at me. A big drum sound would surprise them and make them shriek with joy -- and they would search the room for my eyes and smile right at me. It was a very interesting phenomenon to me. They had an innate, human instinct to share their joy with someone.

I never told my students to look at me - I never told my kids to tell me when something exciting happened.   They sensed an urgency to share their joy and happiness with another person - even if it was just through a look and a smile.

It's amazing how much five-year-olds teach me about people and about life.

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