The Wisdom of Mister Rogers – Part 2

In Part 1, I talked about my good fortune to watch the TV show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with my children, to hear Fred Rogers speak at a national conference for teachers, and to see the documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”.

Part 2
Fifteen years ago I was gifted a book by the family of a child in my class: “The World According to Mister Rogers.  Important Things to Remember.”

It is a collection of his quotations and short writings.  It is a collection of wisdom!  Here are a few of those pearls:

When my mother or my grandmother tried to keep me from climbing too high, my grandfather would say, “Let the kid walk on the wall.  He’s got to learn to do things for himself.”  I loved my grandfather for trusting me so much.  His name was Fred McFeely.  No wonder I included a lively, elderly delivery man in our television ‘neighborhood’ whom we named “Mr. McFeely.”

The values we care about the deepest, and the movements within society that support those values, command our love.  When those things that we care about so deeply become endangered, we become enraged.  And what a healthy thing that is!  Without it, we would never stand up and speak out for what we believe.

The thing I remember best about successful people I’ve met all through the years is their obvious delight in what they’re doing… and it seems to have very little to do with worldly success.  They just love what they’re doing, and they love it in front of others.

I must be an emotional archaeologist because I keep looking for the roots of things, particularly the roots of behavior and why I feel certain ways about certain things.

One of the best (and favorite) songs that Mister Rogers sings is “It’s You I Like.”

“It’s you I like.
It’s not the things you wear.
It’s not the way you do your hair,
But it’s you I like.

The way you are right now.
The way down deep inside you.
Not the things that hide you.
Not your toys, they’re just beside you.

But it’s you I like, every part of you.
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.

I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s yourself, it’s you.
It’s you… I … like!”

When we sing this song in my classroom, it feels good.  Children are quiet, smiling inside. They know.  They understand.  I do, too.

Stay tuned for Part 3, more words of wisdom from Mister Rogers.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five 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 was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in behavior, books, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Inspiration, Kindness, Quotes, self esteem, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to The Wisdom of Mister Rogers – Part 2

  1. Darlene says:

    It’s you I like!! I love it. Thanks for this.

  2. Opher says:

    Fabulous Jennie. What great saying and a wise song!

  3. beetleypete says:

    Every kid should be allowed to walk on that wall. A life smothered is a life half-lived. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Dan Antion says:

    Mr. Rogers had a gentle wisdom. You never felt like he was “instructing” – this is a great series, Jennie.

  5. What a great song, Jennie. I was always allowed to climb the wall. I fell of the garage roof once and sprained my arm but I am still here, full of life.

  6. I think he had good core values.

  7. Ritu says:

    Oh that is just lovely 💜

  8. This little book was given to our middle daughter as a HS graduation present years ago. Over several moves, I inherited it! 🙂
    There are many place-keeping sticky note strips sticking out from numerous pages marking various ‘favorite’ words/stories of wisdom…
    I wonder if Mr. Rogers was named after his grandpa FRED McFeeley?

    • Jennie says:

      Oh my goodness! You are the lucky one. I have bookmarks everywhere in my book. Choosing which ones to include in the blog post was tough, as they are all outstanding. More to come in Part 3. And yes, he was named after his grandfather. Thank you, Laura. 🙂

  9. Ellen says:

    It is 16 years ago today that “America’s favorite neighbor” died. His legacy is carried on through the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. I receive their monthly email newsletter that is written by Hedda Sharapan. Hedda began working with Fred Rogers in 1966 and is devoted to continuing his mission. Your book is also my book. I had purchased a copy for my Son when it was published in late 2003, and he had done the same for me! Benjamin loves that song, I began singing it to him when he was an infant and now we sing it together. Thank-you! I hope that you will visit Filosofa’s Word today, Jill has a Good People post about Fred Rogers.

  10. Annika Perry says:

    Jennie, I just can’t stop smiling reading this song, and listening to the song! 😀 I enjoyed reading his thoughts and love the term ‘an emotional archaeologist’!

  11. L. Marie says:

    I didn’t appreciate Mr. Rogers when I was a kid, but I do now. What a gift he was.

  12. dgkaye says:

    Great song and messages Jennie. The world could sure use more of Mr. Rogers. ❤

  13. Norah says:

    This is wonderful, Jennie. It’s you I like. What a fabulous song, and a great one for building community and calm in a classroom. It reminds me of one by Bill Martin Jr. I can’t remember what it’s called at the moment and, sadly, it’s not on his website any more, but I loved teaching it to my children. It starts something like, “I like me, no doubt about it. I like you, Let’s shout about.” Children can’t learn too many songs of friendship and affirmation. It’s what we want to encourage in them – the ability to love themselves and others.

  14. Mr. Rogers is really blessed! As a man with so much feeling for educating kids. Very rare, but so good. Thank you, Jennie! Now i know him too. Michael

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