I made a bunch of new friends yesterday. They’re 6 or 7 years old. They call me Ms. Kathryn. I’ve started volunteering in their kindergarten classroom.
I worked with pairs of students on letter recognition and numbers. I discovered that I LOVE working on letter recognition and numbers with kindergarteners!
Over the course of the morning we developed a game that got them off their chairs and sprawled on the floor in the hallway. They had to put a bunch of letters cut out of sandpaper in order from A to Z. When I asked one group if they wanted to do somethingreally hard, they yelled “yes!”
One quiet little girl couldn’t (wouldn’t?) identify the letter “a.” I hope I get to work with her again.
When the class traipsed off to gym class, their teacher put me to work cutting out little green triangles out of construction paper for a math project. I initially entertained myself by optimizing how many triangles I could cut (I got a blister). I then considered how different this project was than what I’d been doing, say, a month ago at Amazon. I considered how 10 years ago I would have been concerned about how menial the task is — how it wasn’t what I got an MBA for — how it wasn’t moving me forward.
Cutting green triangles yesterday, I realized, once again, how happy I am. Except for the blister.
And now when my new friends walk past me in the school hall, they look me in the eye and smile.