My 4 year old niece phoned up my mum to check if her silver pouch with her Crayola-crayon-marker-thingies were at her house and intact. My mother found the item, reassured my niece on the phone, and that was that.
I love the mind of a 4 year old. Before I didn’t.
I’m used to teaching the independent students, or kind-of-independent-at-least. The ones who can write and read easily. The ones who are 7, 8, 9, or 10. The ones who are in 2nd grade will do fine for me. Kindergartners, I’ll pass.
So this year when I asked to teach the 4 year olds at Sunday School, I initially balked. 4 year olds? What can a 4 year old even do?
Oh-so-much. I love the mind of a 4-year-old. I love that they care enough about a Crayola pouch to call up a grandparent to check on its status. My aunt Sana Dossul is an amazing Montessori teacher and has taught children as young as 2 and often praises the abilities of these little ones. I can now understand why.
Activities I would do with a 2nd grader that I now tailor to a 4 year old are received with double or triple the enthusiasm, excitement, and joy. Drawing from some activities my aforementioned aunt had done with the little ones, we studied God’s creations and what He had made. We studied the insides of fruits, vegetables, and one day an egg. It was as if these 4 year olds had never seen an egg cracked open in their life. Such was their excitement.
When teaching them about leaves, we talked about each leaf that God had made. At play time, many of the children opted out of playing on the playground equipment to run around and gather leaves. When I gather leaves, I look for a glorious red leaf, or a bright yellow, or a warm cinnamon brown leaf with edges perfect and intact. Not the 4 year olds. Every and any leaf is perfect. Every leaf whether it be lopsided, broken, or plain weird is perfect. Such are the minds of these amazing people.
I’m so impressed by these little ones that if I do return to teaching full-time, and if I am given the choice, I might just say No Thank You to the 2nd graders, and Yes Please to the Kindergartners.