Gloria’s Necklace, Part 2

Yesterday’s tragedy of breaking Gloria’s beloved necklace, the one Milly gave her years ago, was a lesson in a whole lot of things – from how do you fix a problem, to doing the right thing, and caring for others.  This is big stuff, whether you’re four or forty.

I was excited today.  I had the new necklace in hand, ready to give to Gloria.  I sat down with the children to show them the necklace, the clasp that was repaired, and the new hanging hearts.  And, the medallion!  The oohs and ahs were loud.  We couldn’t wait to give it to Gloria.

Giving feels good.  It’s as simple and as complex as that.  The children got to experience that feeling in a very real way, not just hearing me read it to them in a story.  Isn’t that what Gloria’s new necklace was all about?

After Gloria got her new necklace, children decided she needed to be on the couch with her blankie and a doll.  I think Gloria liked that.  Don’t you?

The children got to work writing a big thank you letter to Tracey Smith, the jeweler who transformed the broken necklace into something new and beautiful.

At the end of the day, Gloria was all smiles.

I can’t speak enough about emergent curriculum, following the lead of the children or what is really happening in the classroom, and using that as a foundation for teaching. I could have tossed the broken necklace in sadness and stuck with what I was teaching.  And had I done so, it would have been a bigger tragedy.  I would have missed the opportunity to teach – really teach – some of the most important things children need to learn.


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, Diversity, Expressing words and feelings, Giving, Gloria, Inspiration, preschool, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to Gloria’s Necklace, Part 2

  1. beth says:

    what a wonderful lesson in so many ways

  2. I agree with you, as I always do-Jennie, I hope you realize the light you bring to your students- “Following the child” is a beautiful path and you do it naturally. You are giving them-and us- some of the most important lessons in life. Now, may today everything stay together! Haha! love Michele

  3. srbottch says:

    Jennie, with kids you can take the simplest thing and make it a big deal. And you did watching this while having breakfast made me smile and even feel some of the excitement. A wonderful way to start my day. Thank you.

  4. quiall says:

    A good teacher can teach. A great teacher can learn. There is no doubt in my mind which kind you are. I bet your children would agree.

  5. I also like that you’re teaching the children the importance of writing thank you notes!

    • Jennie says:

      I feel the same way, Liz. They love making the big thank you notes! It adds another layer to the lesson, plus it’s just a good thing to teach children to do.

  6. Such excitement as Gloria gets her restored revamped necklace. Lovely to see you surrounded by so many little hands all wanting to help.
    Gratitude a valuable lesson. You brought a big smile to my face this afternoon. Thank you Jennie. 🤗💕

  7. Ritu says:

    Gloria looks so happy, and I love the thank you letter!

  8. I like that term, emergent curriculum. I think it’s the first time I’ve heard it, but this is what I am learning teaching yoga to young children – to follow their lead and let go of any pre-agendas.

    • Jennie says:

      It is a term used in education, Alethea. I think it is great, and it’s the best way of teaching. Children learn and care when teachers really pay attention to them. Yes, you can let go of pre-agendas. 😀

  9. beetleypete says:

    I love to see the kid’s faces as they pay such close attention to how you are fastening the clasp. They are learning every second of the time they spend with you. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  10. carhicks says:

    I love this. It is so important to seize upon those teachable moments.

  11. Darlene says:

    How very special. I loved how they all wanted to help. I really think Gloria enjoyed all the attention and certainly loves her repaired necklace. Well done, everyone!

  12. …and the circle of life continues – Gloria is resplendent in her refurbished necklace.
    The vid here made my day – thank you Aqua Room!
    (hugs to all especially to Gloria)

    • Jennie says:

      Resplendent. What a wonderful word. Thank you, Laura. I’m glad the video made your day. It made mine, too. 😍 I will give Gloria a hug tomorrow.

  13. I had to chuckle about how you had to be quick with maneuvering Gloria as everyone wanted to touch the newly repaired necklace on her. No wonder it broke the first time. It’s hard for five-year-olds to just sit back to look and admire. Everything must be touched. Similar to the way babies have to put everything into their mouths to experience it, the Kindergarten kids are at the touching stage.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes!! You are exactly right, Anneli. The good thing is that once it was on Gloria, the kids could touch away. They are very careful with the medallion.

  14. That was wonderful. It gave me goosebumps! I’m glad Gloria got her necklace fixed. She’s looking beautiful.

  15. A terrific lesson, Jennie. Thank you for sharing.

  16. magarisa says:

    What a wonderful example of emergent curriculum!

  17. Tracey Smith says:

    Gloria looks beautiful in her necklace and it warmed my heart to see the children so excited. I am so glad I could help with the repair of a treasured piece, (although I think I got more from it than the children).
    Thank you for the beautiful THANK YOU poster from the children! I am so touched.

    • Jennie says:

      It was a great pleasure for the children to make you the big thank you note, Tracey. You worked more miracles than you know. Your necklace has brought more kindness and understanding into the classroom, not to mention big smiles from Gloria. I’m so glad it gave you joy. That is wonderful! Thank you!! ❤️

  18. Elizabeth says:

    I never heard of emergent curriculum, but it is certainly the way my daughter approaches a good deal of home schooling. There is always something to learn no matter what is going on. There really don’t need to be any “interruptions” when looked at that way.

  19. teacherturnedmommyblog says:

    glad you were able to get the necklace fixed and the children saw the community connection.

  20. A fantastic lesson, Jennie! You are really a gem! 😉 Michael

  21. petespringerauthor says:

    You nailed it again, Jennie. Not just with the lessons, but with your words. This is big stuff, and you are masterful at how to teach it. The world needs more teachers like you.

    • Jennie says:

      This really is big stuff. It takes seizing those moments, even the awful ones, to teach the important stuff to children. Thank you so much, Pete. Your words are always genuine. Much appreciated, my friend.

  22. A wonderful lesson in love… ❤ Like Gloria, you are all beautiful!

  23. Dan Antion says:

    Life lessons, dealing with things in different ways, are important.

  24. I love how some of the girls want to take charge and put the necklace on themselves. All so curious and ready to tackle the world. Since I’m not in education, I also had never heard the term emergent curriculum until you kept using it. I like how it works. Our system of education can use a lot of work but it will take teachers like you to bring it up to speed. You are a treasure. Learning to write thank you notes is something most children know nothing about.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes! They wanted to touch the necklace and be in charge of Gloria. That was a wonderful thing. To some it may have looked chaotic, but it was really children who were engrossed in the best of ways.

      You reminded me of my first week in teaching. I was being observed by my director. I think I was using puppets to tell a story, and the children were so excited. My director told me that the children’s reaction was the greatest compliment.

      Emergent curriculum – I need to write more about this. It is natural and the best way to teach. Unfortunately the state gives the guidelines and criteria and standards to be met, which is a huge stress for teachers and children. There is little room for emergent curriculum in many schools.

      Marlene, when I first started my blog in 2014, I wrote articles and stories about the important things in teaching, like emergent curriculum. There were no pictures back then, just me writing about the important stuff. I think I have veered away from that somewhat, posting about events in the classroom. I never want to loose sight and always want to stay on course.

      Best to you, my friend.

  25. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, thank you so much for this post and for begin an excellent teacher!

  26. A lovely new necklace, Jennie. You certainly turned this sad situation into a great outcome.

  27. Awww it’s great all is fixed and well again.

  28. Big stuff indeed, Jennie! ❤ I almost missed this. So happy to spot it today. Hugs on the wing.

  29. dgkaye says:

    Indeed a great lesson for the kids. Gloria is in fine shape now, and that video was just full of precious love. ❤

  30. Learning what is inside the heart is always important, and you are right on with your inner intuition about what to do with the children. Thank you for your huge heart!!!

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