A Man-Sized Challenge from a Kindergarten Teacher

A Man-Sized Challenge from a Kindergarten Teacher

Originally posted by Mike Young October 2010

Stacy and I enjoyed our fourth Back To School Night earlier this week. With four kids in three different schools we’ve spent most of the month of September trying to get into new routines. Our last BTS night was at Hannah’s school. She just started Kindergarten and is having a blast. We love Hannah’s teacher! (Two of the boys had her as well.) Let me tell you a bit about her presentation.

She said, “I want to do something I don’t normally do.” Then she moved a small wooden box into the area where she was speaking and said, “I’m going to get on my soap box.” 

Oh course this is a paraphrase, but here’s essentially what she said:

Parent’s please turn off the television, the computer and the video games. Please encourage your children to go outside and play. Encourage them to touch ‘real’ things with their little hands. Encourage them to play in the grass, to climb and run and dig. Encourage them to read and explore and interact with other children. Encourage them to have ‘real’ experiences.

Well, you read about our family so you know that I’m in complete agreement with her and wanted to stand up and cheer. But, here’s what hammered her point home. She continued…

I’m currently a Kindergarten teacher, but I used to teach first grade. And I can’t tell you how it has saddened me over the years to see increasing numbers of students write about movies, television shows and video games in their journals, as opposed to real experiences. They have limited imagination because they don’t experience imaginative play. So, parents please turn off those devices and turn their attention to real things. And finally, I encourage you to curl up with these precious little boys and girls each day and read with them. Now, I’ll get off my soap box.

And she did. Guys, it has become too easy for us to hand our children off to a fantasy world of computers, movies and video games. I think this sweet Kindergarten teacher has thrown down a man-sized challenge for us all!

Are you man enough to do some ‘real’ things with your kids?

Be intentional about turning off electronics and getting ‘real’ this weekend. And if you do have a little one… be man enough to pull them up into your lap and read a story to them.