Two of the young friends were exploring under the beautiful ornamental pear tree in our yard. The smooth black stones underneath are sprinkled with intricately colored leaves waiting to be examined and admired. As the girls collected, they noticed that some of the leaves, dryer than others, were cracked and torn.
E: This leave is broken.
M: This one, too!
E: Who break it?
M: I don’t know. Maybe when it fall down?
E: Maybe the boys step on it. Ms. Sylvia, the tree is sad because the leaves are broken. I can fix it.
The two girls then shifted their project from collecting pretty leaves to a search and rescue mission. Collecting and taking the injured leaves to the writing table they carefully patched them and placed them into a marked bag. Where they could “rest”.
As big friends, it sometimes takes great restraint to look for the real "teachable moment." This could have been a good time to explore botany and the reason leaves fall, or that boys aren't the only ones that step on leaves, but at that moment, I learned about kindness, empathy and creative ingenuity.
Director, Pacific Sage Preschool