This week I have been thinking a lot about “normal” or “typical” kids. It can be hard to tell the “typical” from the “unusual” these days: everyone wears tiaras and tutus to school, wears the Ninjago sweatshirts and seems to have trouble listening in class. But in other respects, I am remembering how much effort needs to be put in to recognizing what a “typical” kid looks like, talks like, and learns like. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the students who get sent our way that the definition of a baseline 3rd grader starts to shift.
So I am hitting the library- the children’s section- and checking out the books that the kids are reading. I have played many an hour of Poptropica. Occasionally I will flip on the television at home and watch an episode of the show that the 2nd grade boys are acting out on the playground. I may even suffer through an episode of Sofia the First for my kindergarten girls. And as I’ve caught up on who the good guys and bad guys are to today’s elementary school students, I’ve realized how much more I have been able to understand, guide, and contribute to the conversation that bounces around the lunchroom.
Pull up a chair! Check out Jake and the Neverland Pirates (totally watchable) or even a little Spongebob Squarepants for your kindergarteners and watch how excited they get to have an adult who has been a part of their world, even if it was only for a half an hour. And it just may make you feel younger, too.