Remembering Mr. Rogers

The new documentary Won't You be My Neighbor was a wonderful reminder as both a teacher and parent of how to respond to, talk with, and show respect to children. I was part of the generation that grew up watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. He was a big part of my early childhood. My favorite was The Land of Makebelieve and hoping that Lady Evelyn would appear. She was a little bit wicked, and I liked that!

Sadly, my own children were not avid fans of the show. We tried a few times to get them to watch, but it didn't stick. We did have the opportunity to visit the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh when they had a big Mr. Rogers exhibit back in 2009.

The original pieces of the set brought back so many memories and it was fun to share them with my kids. They are so little in these photos - those overalls!

Looking at these pictures now, I see the wonder in their faces and know that they understand the power of Mr. Rogers.

Watching the documentary, I was reminded that it's important for every child to feel safe, loved, and acknowledged. So many times when working with children, I can begin to get impatient and am quick to judge and dismiss their feelings and ideas. Now, I'm not saying that children should be indulged and allowed to do whatever they want, but I do think that offering them the opportunity to share their ideas and stories helps children to feel heard. It's the kid version of venting.

So, as I start to think about a new school year (gasp!), I hope to hold on to the ideas and understanding of Mr. Rogers throughout the year (or at least for the first month!). Wouldn't it be nice if my classroom was as friendly as Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood? Maybe I need to break out my cardigans. I already have the Keds!

No comments: