Every year, Gloria comes into the classroom and becomes a beloved friend, someone who understands children.  She represents everything that is kind… yet different, and that is the pathway to acceptance.  Gloria is diversity, and the catalyst to acceptance.  She has been part of my classroom for many years, and every year she is loved (understatement.)  Her adventures with children include mountain climbing, attending graduations, trick-or-treating, the Red Sox parade in Boston, Christmas and Thanksgiving with families, and so much more. Bottom line, Gloria cements love and kindness.

Here is my newsletter to families:

Introducing Gloria, our Aqua Room Friend
October 4th, 2022

Gloria was introduced to your children this week.  She came to Morning Meeting, reluctantly, because she is very shy.  After all, some people have called her a witch, so it is no wonder she needed coaxing to meet the Aqua Roomers.  Gloria is old, has wrinkly skin and gray hair, and is very fond of black.  Actually, black is her favorite color, along with a pointy hat and pointy shoes.  Gloria is our classroom puppet, yet she is very real to all the children.  She represents all the things that children feel.  Because she is different, she helps children develop an understanding of others.

When she arrived, your children didn’t know what to think.  No one said a word, and there were many wide eyes.  When we talked about Gloria, children wondered if she was a witch.  That was the perfect door to open!  Gloria herself jumped in to talk (finally), and she told them how people had called her a witch.  “Well, I’m not a witch.  I just like black.  It’s my favorite color.  My skin is wrinkly, and my hair is gray and sticky-uppy-outy.”  Then children started to look to Gloria directly, eye to eye, and Gloria responded in kind.  No child looked at a teacher; each one looked directly at Gloria.  One child waved and said, “Hi Gloria.”  Another child said, “Gloria, you need to meet Sparkles!  Sparkles is our hamster.  Then she introduced herself.  Gloria wanted to learn the names of your children, and asked each child if she could shake their hand.  Well, children stayed by her side after the handshake.  Everyone surrounded the teacher chair, and the conversations kept going.  There were many spontaneous hugs.  Gloria has photos in her journal over many years.  She has been everywhere!  She hasn’t shown us her blankie (peace quilt) yet.

This was powerful.  What transpired in our classroom in less than thirty minutes is what can sometimes take years for people to learn; caring and acceptance.  Gloria is different, yet she has the same feelings that we all do.  She is a good friend.  Your children were able to look beyond her appearance and see her for what she truly is.

A child rushed over to tell a teacher, “Gloria fell on the floor!”  We checked her out (she was ok), gave her extra hugs, and she was on her way.  Children were helping Gloria.  She is being looked after.  She is a new friend.

The next day we met Gloria’s family- Rainbow, Brownie, and Oscar.  Each of her family members has a special story.  Ask your child to tell you.

All of this has happened in just two days.  Gloria will quickly become a close member of the Aqua Room.  She will be the one who understands, or perhaps the one who has problems.  She will be fun, sometimes silly, and may look to your children for a hug.  If you want to know more about Gloria, she has a journal of her weekends with Aqua Roomers.  Please tell her hello when you’re in the classroom.

Jennie, Heidi, and Naomi

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, Gloria, Inspiration, Kindness, Love, preschool, wonder and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to Gloria!

  1. Gloria, thank you for all you do for the littles in the Aqua room .

    I love your necklace.

  2. Lovely Gloria, doing a cracking job!

  3. I love Gloria too-after all, she is a teacher. love Michele

  4. beetleypete says:

    Another year ahead for Gloria to do her great work with the children.
    It doesn’t get any better than that.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  5. Cheers to Gloria’s genuine nature and her ability to spread kindness and joy!

  6. Ritu says:

    I love Gloria 🥰

  7. beth says:

    it doesn’t take anyone of any age very long to fall in love with gloria

  8. What a happy start to my morning. I can imagine how happy a start to the day it was for your children who actually got to hug her. You are amazing, Jennie.

    • Jennie says:

      Gloria is a wonder, every year. I’m so glad she made a happy start to your morning. I wish you could give her a hug. Thank you, Marlene 🙂.

  9. CarolCooks2 says:

    Ahhhh, Gloria …some new children are already under her spell more adventures for Gloria methinks as she works her magic 🙂

  10. Don Ostertag says:

    Ah, Gloria starts out the school year.

  11. Darlene says:

    A great letter. So glad Gloria met the news Aqua roomers and that they fell in love with her. What a great year ahead for all of them.

  12. sandrah says:

    This reminds me so much of our visitor to family breakfast-Ms. Curly along with Mamma Bear, Factivity, and Friendship Bear. Each one had his or her own unique characteristics and personalities, problems and solutions to those problems. My children absolutely loved finding out each morning what had been happening in the bear world!

  13. Gloria and her Family do great work as assistant Teachers. That’s a wonderful letter, Jennie. It is never too early to instill caring and acceptance. Love this post.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, they do great work. The young children are far more open and accepting than we adults are. Gloria is the catalyst. Thank you, Bruce. I’m so glad you liked the post!

  14. How wonderful! I’m looking forward to more Gloria adventures and lessons.

  15. I love how you introduce Gloria to the Aqua Roomers’ parents! There is no room for bigotry and hatred in Gloria’s world.

  16. Awww. It’s wonderful to see Gloria making new friends. She’s a special part of your classroom. 🙂

  17. Three cheers for Gloria!!! Doing so much ❤

  18. quiall says:

    I wish there had been a Gloria in my school. She is brilliant.

  19. Thanks for sharing Gloria’s visit with the children, Jennie. She is terrific.

  20. petespringerauthor says:

    You do many brilliant things, Jennie, but this is near the top for me. What a powerful way to introduce the idea of accepting differences in one another. I’m glad to see the children have already bonded with Gloria. The journal that accompanies her is also a huge part of this lesson.

    I’m glad Oscar has made some new friends too.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Pete. Gloria is one of the best things I do for children in my classroom. Acceptance is so important. I think she’ll be ready for home visits pretty soon. Oscar is very happy with his new family. 🙂

  21. sjhigbee says:

    What a lovely way to teach children to accept those who are very different. Bless you, Gloria – and thank you Jennie!

  22. Ally Bean says:

    Well, it might be my age talking but I think Gloria is cute, quite a fashion plate. I like how you’re teaching acceptance to little kids. Seems like a valuable life skill.

  23. L. Marie says:

    Ah, at last Gloria makes an appearance. I remember past years. 😄

  24. Brilliant! I think the world could do with a few more Glorias, Jennie. Of course, I do realise there is only one G-L-O-R-I-A!

  25. Gloria is the spiritual leader of the Aqua Room. I think the pupils at first where unsecure because of Gloria’s black clothing. They may have thought there is coming a nun, and they have to pray. 😉 xx Michael (Own experiences from the past included!)

  26. Pingback: SUNDAY POST – 9th October, 2022 #Brainfluffbookblog #SundayPost | Brainfluff

  27. Dan Antion says:

    It’s always good to see Gloria in the room.

  28. dgkaye says:

    Yay for Gloria! ❤

  29. bosssybabe says:

    Awww what fun!!! Welcome back, Gloria! 🙂

  30. Pingback: Gloria!

  31. Jim Borden says:

    I feel like I know Gloria as well as the children. Love the video of the child on the swing with Gloria!

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