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A Kindergarten Snapshot
Sarah Fraps

Many people have thoughts about what a Kindergarten classroom looks like. I’m sure those thoughts sometimes match reality. Is it loud? Sometimes! Is it messy? A lot of the time! Is it fun? I hope so! But, is it also ordered? Are students practicing sincerity? Are they growing in obedience and willingness to do good?

Recently, one of my male students discovered the phrase “being a gentleman”. I think I said it off-handedly to him one day after he held a door or did some other kind thing - “Oh, you are a gentleman!”. He had never heard the phrase before, so I explained that a gentleman looks out for others and treats them with respect. They are especially kind to young ladies.

Today, the same boy rediscovered the meaning when he and a female student were about to tussle over a marker. After a couple of seconds of “I got it first!”, the boy looked at the girl and said, “You can have it. Ladies first.” He took a different marker, and when he sat down next to me at the carpet, he said, “I was being a gentleman!”.

In Kindergarten, we speak often of politeness and being kind to one another, but it isn’t until those moments, where, unasked for and unprompted, a student simply does the thing you have been willing and praying for them to do for weeks on end, and then, gets nothing for it but is completely satisfied with the right ordering of things. Glory to God!

Sure, Kindergarten is diligently learning spelling words, practicing cursive, beginning to read, and developing their number sense, but all the more important - they are growing in virtue, one day at a time, one interaction at a time. I may spend my days repeating classroom rules and expectations ad nauseam, but it’s all worth it when moments like these come in between the (sometimes) chaos. And, at the end of it, when a five-year-old can remind me of the goodness that comes from kindness, politeness, and love toward our fellow human beings, that’s perhaps even better for me. How easily adults forget the words of 1 Peter 4:8: “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Thank God for the students who remind me!