the littlest fortune

An awesome experience today at school:

It was Chinese food day, so all the children received a fortune cookie with their chicken and broccoli. One 2nd grader opened hers, looked at it confused, and said, “does this mean I’m supposed to play with fire at school?”

I explained to her, and the other 2nd graders sitting at her table, that what it meant is that if a teacher is really good, they won’t simply tell you facts after facts and give you information that you should know. A really good teacher will get you to ask questions and wonder about things and make you want to go find out the information and answers to those questions on your own. A really good teacher makes you want to be a really good learner, and you want to learn even when you’re not at school and the teacher isn’t there to help guide you.

Adorably, and right on cue, one of them replied, “Well, Miss Kivela, if that’s what a really good teacher does, then you’re a really GREAT one!”

His classmates quickly chimed in with approval and agreement. I couldn’t help but smile. :)

Out of appreciation for either the explanation or my ‘really great teaching’ (I’m not sure which) I was allowed to keep the fortune. I’ve since laminated it and taped it to the edge of my laptop screen, so I can see it every day.

It is definitely, without a doubt, the heart of a good educator. I can only hope that the second grade consensus means I’m on the right track!

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