My Day With Out Words
Upon opening the door to my daycare center, I was greeted by one of the most precocious 3-year-olds I ever known. Every day was an adventure with this little sprite, and this was no exception. She greeted me by throwing a fistful of glitter into my face while announcing, “That is the magic fairy dust. The magic fairy dust means that you cannot speak.” In that instant I decided that I would go with her suggestion; I turned that day into a day without words.
Educators talk a lot! Deciding not to talk meant that I had to trust that our group could function without my verbal cues, instructions or transitional support. I had to trust that the children would resolve their own conflicts and solve their own problems. Quieting my voice and personality was a challenge.
In my silence I found a listening that I had never experienced before. In my silence, I heard the children’s hopes. I heard their fears. I heard what brought them joy and frustration. I heard little, quiet conversations that are always lost in the noise of a busy classroom with big personalities. I really heard my students.
The following day, my little sprite brought new glitter. Before she could throw it at me, I told her that I was wearing clothes that stopped all magic from working on me. She sighed and said, “Good. I like it better when you talk to me.” And so I did.