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Hello King Family, So these are the things that are on my heart right now.  I'm going to share them with you because that's what families do.  I hope that you enjoy some of them (we've had some really fun times so far this year) and others might cause you to pause and think. When I was a teacher, one of the things I loved was being able to just spend time with students.  Our classroom work was important, but I learned much more from talking to students at recess or sitting in my classroom, having lunch with small groups of my "kids".  The stories they would tell were fairly typical.  They would describe their families, what they did over the week-end, and why their little brothers and sisters drove them crazy! But then I'd get that one student who just touched my heart.  You know the one.  The little girl who has a hard time making friends or the little boy who is so ornery but inside is just waiting for someone to notice that he's really sweet.  I love those conversations with those students because they were the real deal.  They would tell me things that were so honest, my eyes stung while listening to them.  Things like.. I'll never fit in...I know kids hate me....I just want to have a friend.  I always tried to be extra kind to these students, but what would have really mattered was if their classmates had taken that role.  Good old Mrs. Nielsen is nice...but I knew I would never have the power to make a child feel loved like a friend.  So here's what's on my mind.  How do we teach our children to not only be kind, (we have tons of those students at King.  So many kind kids) but to advocate and care for others who need help?   I know that some students are not always easy to get along with, so it's not a simple conversation with our children about "accepting others".  It goes deeper than that.  It's about accepting others, regardless of how they look or act on the outside.  This can be hard for kids.  They see the outside or how a student acts and do exactly what we, as adults, do.  They take out the ones they don't like and keep the ones that they do.  But the ones that never get "kept" are the ones that keep me up at night, thinking of social groups and check-in partners, and how I wish I could teach all children the importance of not only having friends but being a friend.   So, here is my challenge to you and to the students of King Elementary School.  Talk to you children.  Ask them who the person is who doesn't play with others on the playground, or never has anyone to sit with at lunch.  Ask them why.  The "why" is important.  Your child will know.  Discuss differences.  Discuss love.  Discuss acceptance.  And then challenge them to love and accept that student in very real ways.  Maybe it's just sitting near that student at lunch one day this month.  Or maybe it's just asking that student to play at recess once in a while.   I know that social situations don't change overnight.  But if we don't focus on them and actively try to change them, they never will change.  All children need to feel loved and accepted...and it's peer acceptance that can make the difference.   With love, Mrs. Nielsen
Posted by anielsen  On Sep 06, 2018 at 6:59 AM
Hello, my name is Atithya and I am a student teacher in Mrs. Knight’s classroom this fall! I’m originally from India, have called Tokyo home for the past few years, and my family recently moved to Jordan last year. In short, it’s kind of hard to answer the “where are you from?” question. I had the privilege of being placed at King for practicum this past spring, so I’m fairly familiar with some faces and the school in general. I’ve always been interested in teaching in an upper elementary classroom, so I am super excited to have been placed in Mrs. Knight’s class again this term!
Posted by anielsen  On Aug 06, 2018 at 10:00 AM
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