This growth, however, is not the same for every child. Each student develops at his or her own pace. I have two-year-olds who interact wonderfully with others, while some of my four- and five-year-olds still have some social difficulties. With some of my kids, a day comes in which there is a noticeable change; one of my younger ones may, on his own, share the toy he is playing with; or one little girl may not cry for the first time when her daddy drops her off.
Last week, we took a field trip to Birch Aquarium. It's a great way to get the kids out for a little fun, and for them to learn something while we're at it. Us teachers and parents enjoyed watching each child's face light up with excitement and awe at the changing colors of the octopus or the majesty of the leopard sharks.
Before we arrived at the aquarium that morning, however, I had been worried about one little girl in particular. Up until that day, she had shown little intellectual or emotional progress, showing little interest in the academic portions of the program and leaving school in tears to be taken home by our driver. Granted, she is only two-years-old, so she is not far behind her peers. So I was pleasantly surprised by her engagement on our trip when she held my hand the entire trip, and could hardly contain her excitement as we moved through each exhibit. From one tank to the next, she begged me, "Come on, Ms. Cyrce! Come on!" She was so excited to see all of God's sea creatures waiting to meet her.
As we drove home, I watched her smile in my rearview mirror and was reassured of my mission in the development of my students–my caterpillars and cocoons who will one day blossom into beautiful butterflies and move on to great successes. These sparks in a child's development excite me and inspire me to continue teaching God's little children.