How many times a day do you brush your teeth? REALLY brush your teeth? Do you ever stop and think about it? What does brushing your teeth have to do with school anyway? Why am I even bringing up the subject of brushing?
As noted before, there are many activities we participate in daily at school that have little to do with curriculum, state assessments, textbooks, or rules. As educators, we find ourselves teaching young learners life lessons about respect, healthy living, altruism, planning for the future, and making good choices in order to reinforce lessons first taught in the home. As our learning partners and participating members of our learning community, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. You have special tools in place we can use to integrate both settings (home and school) in a positive, productive manner . . . just like the tools used in brushing teeth.
For example, as my young friends in this picture are demonstrating for you, your mouth must be open wide so you get all the little crevices clean. Your toothbrush must be guided gently around each tooth using another important tool, your toothpaste. You have to really put some elbow strength into this job and take your time. As you get older, you add other oral hygiene tools (such as floss or mouthwash) to enhance the overall experience. You also learn to complete this skill independent of direct instruction or intervention . . . I think you understand the analogy here.
Teaching young learners to read, write, listen, speak, compute, synthesize, evaluate, hypothesize, draw, jump, or any number of other skills requires the same use of special tools, wisdom, and strength in order to foster sustained success. It takes daily practice, careful planning, and attention to all the fine details–traits our talented classroom leaders masterfully execute to meet individual needs. We invite you to join us and share your home tools so we do our best to match them here with our school tools. Here’s hoping we all remember the lesson our toothbrush friends shared: “Mrs. Van, keep working at it; work so your smile shines!” 🙂