Milly & Gloria

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited.  Imagination encircles the world.” -Albert Einstein-


Milly made her first visit this year to the classroom, wearing her Halloween costume.  She brings joy to the children in the smallest of ways because she cares.  Small is actually big, as her genuine interactions have an impact.  She is one of them.  Milly treats children with respect, and that is empowering.  Somehow, she is able to bring what is most important to young children.  Children know.  That’s why they love her.

Milly is a master quilter.  She has a long and wonderful history with my class.  She takes the brilliant ideas and designs of children, and turns them into quilts that are works of art.  Stunning.  One hangs in the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and one hangs in the Fisher House in Boston.

Creating the quilts took imagination, passion, and love from both Milly and the children.  Every week or so Milly would arrive and spread her work out across a table.  Children watched and helped select fabrics.  Those moments were bonding.  Milly became an official Aqua Roomer.

Then Milly met “Gloria”, or perhaps it was the other way around.  Gloria adored Milly, and still does to this day.  Milly feels the same way about Gloria.  Between these two friends, I am connecting generations and diversity.  Children are getting a big dose of social and emotional learning.  Milly and Gloria set the example for caring; Milly may be old and Gloria may be different, but they are people.  And, they’re good friends.  That is what the children see!  Therefore, that is what they learn.

Milly gave her Halloween costume to Gloria.  That’s what friends do.  The significance of this for children was tremendous.  They watched kindness, acceptance, love, and giving happen right before their eyes.  This was a lesson in life, not a lesson in academics.


“Imagination is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein-


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in Early Education, Kindness, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Milly & Gloria

  1. crazykatya says:

    I can only imagine the amazing feeling of witnessing these exchanges between Milly, Gloria, and the kids. Jennie, I think you are an inspiration as someone who takes their profession very seriously and with pure heart. Every post you share with a glimpse into your classroom and your thoughts makes me feel hopeful that my own daughter will have a teacher like you in her future!

  2. Barbara says:

    This is a beautiful post and I love reading about your classroom friends and the children.

  3. What wonderful role models for the children.. real people with genuine and loving intentions rather than the over-exposed media fantasies. Thanks Jennie.

  4. L. Marie says:

    What a lovely way to connect children and adults. You usually hear about celebrity author visits. I love that the children learned about Milly and quilting!

  5. It’s amazing how some people just naturally know how to engage with children (people) and excite the imagination. Every moment becomes teachable and memorable. Milly sounds like such a soul 🙂

  6. srbottch says:

    I’ve often thought there was a lack of education about ‘life’ and ‘life lessons’. Not in your classes, I can see. Loved the quotes. Give my regards to Milly.

  7. Pingback: Bloggers Around the Christmas Tree – Classroom visitors, Latkes, Photographers, Indie vs. Traditional! | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  8. Tina Frisco says:

    This is a beautiful post, Jennie. I would have given anything for a teacher as insightful and understanding as you 💖

  9. Norah says:

    I love both your Einstein quotes, and your story of Milly and Gloria – delightful!

  10. reocochran says:

    The quilting Milly made me happy to hear how she decorated Gloria. Gloria looks quite enchanting and i like the fun the two of them bring to the class. You are a wonder and miracle worker, Jennie. ❤

  11. What a great team and to watch Milly figuring out quilt squares must make wonderful conversations and memories. I hope to see one of your classroom quilts in person someday!

    • Jennie says:

      My blog photo is Milly’s first quilt with my classroom! No quilting squares at all. The quilts are murals that the children design. Milly helps them select the fabrics and she hand sews everything, often in front of the children.

    • Jennie says:

      I would dearly love to have you visit my classroom, read a story, and see our current quilt. We should be finished in time to deliver it to the Boston State House over April school vacation.

  12. Oh, Jennie, this post almost made me cry. Thank you! Love the Einstein quotes (funny because I’d just seen a similar such quote on my spiritual retreat), and Milly meeting Gloria in front of the children is exquisite. And precious. Blessings to you, to Milly, to Gloria, and to all your students. Love, Debbie

  13. What an incredible partnership/friendship, and a terrific learning experience for your students.

    This is inspiring. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you felt inspired. My blog picture is a quilt that Milly made, inspired by Gloria and her own blankie, a Peace Quilt. Thus, a long and meaningful relationship was launched. And the children reap the rewards. Happy New Year!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s