Windows of Opportunity…Missed By: Lori Loesch
Every child, has a window of opportunity where he can learn. Where the window is open wide, and knowledge can blow in, and enrich the child. However, for some children, that opportunity is stolen from them. For reasons that are many, the window slams shut, and the child is left to gather information, knowledge from where ever he goes. Not usually from the best sources, do these children learn. They pick up and process the information, in a way a child would process information, that is neither explained, or understood.
As a child that missed out on learning, reading, and writing, navigates his world, it’s filled with doubt, and confusion. For this child, innocence is lost, he becomes hardened or timid. I like to think of it this way, everybody has two wolves, a good wolf and a bad wolf, the one that wins is the one you feed. If you feed your wolf with empathy and love, the good wolf wins over your life. If you feed your wolf with anger and hurt, the bad wolf will devour your life. For too many children the angry, hurt wolf wins out. Not because the child even realizes it. It just takes over the innocence of a child, before the child can recognize just what the world is all about, he’s shoved into a world of darkness and sadness. He will start to act out, because of the frustration he feels, where is the love? Where is the quality time spent with this child?
I feel for these children. The down trodden, the ones that are not accepted by their peers. The children that learn at a slower pace. I would like to erase the idea, where, the children that read fast and can retain what they have read, and the children that get math quickly, think that they are the ‘smart’ students, and the children that learn at a slower pace are dumb. There are very intelligent children that learn slower than the average child. We will miss out on an opportunity to teach this child, and allow him to become the best that he can be, if there is no one to give him quality time, love, and the right kind of attention.
I can see me as the mom, the teacher, that comes into the classroom for a few hours a day, and gives the children, that need a little more time to learn, the attention they need. I have always kept in my heart, the kindergarten teacher and the little, struggling boy that changed me. It was 1998, my son was in kindergarten and I wanted to be the mom that volunteered in the classroom. One of the first experiences I had in this kindergarten environment was, a day where things just fell into place. There was a boy that was in need of extra time and patience. I spent the time with this child. He and I read a book, and I showed him undivided attention. He showed me, that I have a gift. That day, that child, and that kindergarten teacher, gave me the best gift of all. The teacher thanked me for spending so much time and patience with this boy. The heartfelt way she thanked me, still resonates with me. She was happy that I took the time that she didn’t have to teach this little soul.
Only by the Grace of God, did I navigate the world that I was born into. There were teachers that gave me time and patience, and for them, I am grateful. We are teachers, rather we know it or not. We teach every time we step out into the world. I want to teach acceptance, love, kindness, and patience. I hope I do. I see everybody’s story, not as an excuse, but as their life. I can not fix their life, but I hope that by giving them time and patience, I can help them feel a warm, heartfelt feeling of the bigger love that is out there.