Gloria’s Excellent Adventure

Gloria often goes home with a child on the weekend.  She has a bag, a quilt, and a journal. She is ready for anything, from graduations to soccer games, to holiday celebrations.  It didn’t used to be that way, until Colin asked many years ago if she could have a sleepover at his house.  “Don’t worry, Jennie.  I have a night light.  She won’t be scared” were his exact words.  Since then, Gloria has been welcomed with open arms by children and their families.

Last weekend she joined McKinley and her family on their annual family hike to Hedgehog Mountain in New Hampshire.

While the hike was beautiful and adventurous, it’s the story of love and friendship that shines through, loud and clear.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

I’m having this framed for me.  No words needed.

Dad emailed me this photo and said, “Made it.  Top of the mountain.”

 A journal entry is even better.  It puts words and pictures together.

“Gloria visited our family and took a trip to NH to see my Grammy and Papa.  We also took Gloria with us on our annual family hike up MT Hedgehog.  After the hike to the top we looked at autumn leaves, took pictures, and even ate cupcakes!  Gloria had a great time meeting my aunts, uncles, and cousins.  We can’t wait for Gloria to visit again.

“Riding on Dad’s back.  Relaxing at the top of MT Hedgehog in Hillsboro, NH.  A well deserved rest at the top.  What a great view!!”

It’s one thing for the child to ‘get it’ and understand who Gloria is.  It’s another thing for the parents to ‘get it’ and embrace it, and accept Gloria into their family.  They are doing wonders for their child.  I learned many years ago that a teacher must include and educate the family in order to teach the child.  When families take the time to put Gloria on top of a mountain and take a photo, my heart spills over, because I know I have been a real teacher.

Gloria’s journals are in her bag, available for children to read anytime – like the books on our bookshelf.  Former Aqua Roomers still want to read her journals.  It’s wonderful.

On a side note, McKinley is the younger sister of Jackson.  He was the subject of my favorite blog post years ago, “The Boy Who Cried Tears of the Heart.”  It still makes my heart pound.  Big time.


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 Diversity, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Family, Gloria, Imagination, Inspiration, Kindness, Love, preschool, Teaching young children, wonder, young children and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Gloria’s Excellent Adventure

  1. Opher says:

    What a lovely story. Gloria is an important part of the team isn’t she?

  2. beetleypete says:

    Always such a joy to see Gloria on her travels. Love the photo of her in her car seat! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. quiall says:

    That brought a tear to my eye! I wish I had know a ‘Gloria’ when I was a school.

  4. Ritu says:

    A great adventure!

  5. This is such a great idea, Jennie!

  6. Gloria must bring a lot of joy to a lot of kids.

  7. What a wonderful adventure for Gloria, Jennie. Such a cute post.

    • Jennie says:

      It was one of her best adventures, Robbie. I’m glad that parents understand and take the time to photograph Gloria. The children are always on board. Halloween is around the corner, and Gloria has already been invited to go trick-or-treating. 🙂

  8. Precious. Thanks for sharing, Jeannie

  9. What sweet captivations!❤❤❤❤❤

  10. Beautiful share, Jennie! 🙂 You’re so right about involving parents and families in the education of each child. I was so fortunate when teaching–I had several parent volunteers in the classroom who were excited to ‘step in’ for kids without interacting families as home. Also fun assignments to get kids and parents talking (writing assignments). Stand-in (volunteer parents) are truly blessings. xo

  11. No words, just a huge, heartfelt smile plastered all over my face!

  12. petespringerauthor says:

    Since I haven’t been following you that long, Jennie, I wasn’t aware of Gloria’s history until recently. As usual, I love that your thoughts are always about your students. All of your educational and teaching decisions are with them in mind.

    It is also evident that the parents/grandparents adore the effort you put into being such a nurturing role model. The fact that they take part in photos and journal entries demonstrates they understand how vital Gloria is to their children.

    Gloria reminded me of something I used to do when I was teaching. I would give my Star Student (each child had a turn throughout the year) my suitcase to bring home during their week. They would fill it with the treasures in their life that they wanted to share with their classmates. It also was my tricky way of reaching some of those children who were reserved and shy. As they carried my oversized bag out the classroom door, I liked to tease them with my favorite line, “Tell your parents I’ll be over after dinner.” 😎

    • Jennie says:

      I’m glad you got to know Gloria a bit more. She’s a gem, the real deal. I am always bowled over when parents go the extra mile to include her. It means so much to their child.

      Thank you, Pete. It would never occur to me to do anything in teaching that wasn’t 100% child centered. I get the pleasure of sitting back and watching wonderful things happen.

      I love the suitcase!! You really got to know the children, and they had a chance to open up. Open the suitcase and open the child. The fact that it was yours from home was the icing on the cake. Very cool idea!

  13. I loved this so much. Precious post.

  14. Gloria . . .what a dear way to teach. You are wonderful.

  15. jilldennison says:

    What a beautiful story … and you, my friend, are obviously an awesome teacher! Have a great weekend!

  16. John Fioravanti says:

    I can’t get over the significant role that Gloria has played in your teaching over the years, Jennie. I hope you turn her story into a great book someday!

  17. A wonderful idea, and a great story. They are learning ducumentation skills too. WoW! Michael

  18. Oh my this soooooo soooooo lovely. I am in tears of joy. How precious and just heart warming. Oh to be a kid again. So sweet. Truly beautiful is the heart and mind of children and you are such a wonderful teacher. Thanks for sharing this. Made my day.

  19. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, once again–thank you for a beautiful post!

  20. I love Gloria. So many things to like about this post, Jennie. The view on top of the mountain. The heart-filled smile. Gloria’s friendship to a precious little girl. Really made me smile this morning. Thanks!

  21. Norah says:

    It is wonderful, Jennie. Gloria is such an amazing part of your life and the lives of your children. I remember Jackson – what a special family.

  22. Ren says:

    So beautiful…. Happy tears flow

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