‘Gloria’ Works Wonders

Some days just aren’t the best days.  Children feel that, too.  When everything seems to fall apart, there is Gloria.  She is the quiet one, the savior.  She listens to children and gets hugged – constantly.  She lives on the couch, and she often joins us for Morning Meeting or activities.  Children read to Gloria and include her in their play.

But sometimes Gloria is just ‘there’.

And sometimes being ‘there’ makes all the difference in the world.  Because tears fall and hearts break.  Because we need love.

Gloria just has a way with children.  Maybe it’s because she’s a little different.  She always seems to understand.  Reading to Gloria – reading her very own journal – was all it took to soothe the child’s heart and dry her tears.

The weather was freezing cold and windy today.  Snow would have been better than gray skies and the remains of cold rain and mud.  As we dressed in our winter gear to go outside to play, some children were less than excited.

“Do you think it’s too cold for Gloria?”

Fifteen children suddenly became very excited.  So, we bundled her up in her Peace Quilt and took her outside.  I handed Gloria over to the children.  They scooped her up like a baby.  And they put her in the swing.

We sang songs to Gloria.  Children told me the songs she wanted to hear.  Music warms the heart.  Gloria already knows that.  Now the children know, too.


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 behavior, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Kindness, Love, Teaching young children, wonder and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to ‘Gloria’ Works Wonders

  1. Opher says:

    Lovely Jennie. So important.

  2. Ritu says:

    So touching how they love Gloria!

  3. GP Cox says:

    Gloria helps the children to learn caring for others while also showing them the joy of reading and imagination.

  4. beetleypete says:

    Good old Gloria. Every child should have a ‘Gloria’. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  5. Lifetime Chicago says:

    Instead of constantly assessing children….Gloria is teaching our little ones how to love.

  6. Dan Antion says:

    Sometimes, we all just need someone to care for.

  7. This is so precious. We all need a Gloria!

  8. I get the same takeaway as the rest. Gloria is teaching empathy and nurturing in the midst of their own sadness. What a wonderful lesson to learn so young! I know many adults who haven’t learned this yet. Coming here gives me hope for the world ahead. You are doing great good work.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Marlene. I just love Gloria. Today she was whacked by a child. My gasp caused all the children to freeze, including the offender. He sat on the couch with Gloria, holding an ice pack to her head. So, her lessons are far reaching. There really is hope for so many children. Thank you for reading. You always make me feel wonderful. 🙂

  9. Darlene says:

    How wonderful that Gloria is there for the children in good times and not so good times. I love how they cared about her comfort. What a lovely lesson.

  10. Sarah says:

    Such lovely photos, Jennie! Truly heart warming! 😄

  11. srbottch says:

    Having some ‘being there’ goes for adults, too. Nice posting.

  12. It is true, Jennie, that small children get a lot of comfort from soft toys like Gloria. In the rape crisis centre they give the child victims a teddy bear. I have collected them for this purpose through my community service work.

  13. What a great idea to have Gloria listening to stories. They’ll remember her forever.

  14. jofox2108 says:

    Fabulous! We have “Dave” ( named by the children ) – the purple minion. Here’s a picture (actual Dave is at school at the moment!) https://jofoxadventuresinart.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/s-l16001921567118.jpg

  15. I love Gloria-whar a wonderful idea.

  16. That was so touching Jennie!

  17. Norah says:

    Like many a good friend, Gloria knows that just being there is often enough.

  18. Jennie, you have such marvelous insight and empathy. These children are beyond lucky to have you in their lives. I love that Gloria has a journal. Hugs on the wing.

  19. I so love this. Even when I got to be a big person, my dolls always served as the happy faces greeting me (when I lived alone) at night when I would come home. At one time, I had I think 32 Raggedy Anns and Andys in all sizes and in various conditions, and when I would walk in the door and see all those smiling faces, I could never feel sad. And I have other stuffed toys that I use when I feel really ill or sad that I will put up next to me on the bed. Of course I have six little dog spirits too, one of them deaf, and they are determined to make sure that everything is A-OK in our world. The boys sleep next to me, and the girls sleep next to Richard. And then there is the odd cat left too who now comes and gets under the covers along with the dogs since her only pal, Musafa (another kitty) passed on. I have many dolls still and they aren’t going anyplace without me. This is a great idea for children when they are having a difficult time; I think of my special needs children, who often have no words, and how that might be so helpful for them too.

    • Jennie says:

      I’m so glad you like this, Anne. We all need a Gloria or a Raggedy Ann or a dog. When I go to my classroom on the weekend to feed the pets, I often check in on Gloria and give her a hug. I definitely think this idea would help your special needs children.

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