Came across an old photo and just stared at it.
I remembered this 4-year-old girl in this exact moment, so many years ago.
I remembered her NAME - easily - as I stared at the photo of her water painting her own name with a stick, at our school, outside on the playground, on the side of the sand box.
|Outside exploration with sticks and water and ... T-A-Y-L-O-R.|
I thought about how special each of our names are to us.
How it begins so early to put our name on things we do, things we make, things we own. Putting our name on something is an action of sorts - it is an announcement that continues to announce every time someone reads our name:
This is ME, I am HERE. This is MY NAME.
|Painting mostly abstractly on the easel...except for his name: can you see it TWO TIMES?|
Think about your name.
Think about how people know YOU because of your name, how it sounds,
how it feels on your tongue,
how it rhymes or jolts or is lovely like a song.
|one friend gives friend JACK a letter which he discovers in his mailbox: he knows it is his because it is HIS NAME.|
|There are so many names to know OTHER THAN our own: this girl is writing a note to someone from the class list!|
Do you make sure to KNOW your students names on the first day (nearly!) of school? I have found that knowing a student's name (and their guardians, and siblings, and grandmothers...) literally changes your relationship in one instant:
"Wow? YOU know ME?"Has that ever happened to YOU? Didn't you feel immediately welcomed, included and "in" ?
Your name has power and grounding and vitality.
|It is double-or-nothing for C-H-R-I-S-T-I-N-A as she signs her second piece of art work with HER NAME.|
Personally, I remember wishing I had a different name because I wanted it to "sound" a different way - exotic perhaps, or like a famous person, or from another country. As I grew up, I realized my name was exactly what it should be and it fit me exactly right.
My name IS french and IS in songs by David Bowie and Elton John so surely I can be content with that.
My name IS part of I Dream of Jeannie and The Little Mermaid. It could be worse.
And, I am pleased with the general "magic" with which my name IS associated.
Professionally, I have been called by my first name only, then "Miss Jeanne" for about thirteen years, then "Teacher Jeanne" (of which I am not a fan) and now, well, am back to my first name only in the college courses I teach.
My husband takes delight in hearing "Hello Miss Jeanne" on occasion as we walk through our downtown streets in the location where I taught for so many years. It does have a nice ring to it - my name ... granted, to be acknowledged usually does have a nice ring to it.
What about YOUR name? Does it fit you just right? Have you struggled with it?
|A-M-A-N-D-A's name is ready to take flight with her twirly flyer any second!|
|special delivery of a card with 2 NAMES on it and looking for ONE NAME on the exact right mailbox.|
Think about all the places we NAME IT in our classrooms:name tags, cubbies, clothing, shoes, blankets, backpacks, lunchboxes, mailboxes, coat hooks, charts, portfolios, writing area lists, birthday boards, sing up lists...
so many opportunities for our NAMES to be boldly present.
|a friendly monster story AND a painted I-S-A-B-E-L-L-A ... what could be better?|
|from a boy named W-A-L-T: "C-O-L-E you are inv - " ited to my birthday party. friendship rocks.|
Think about the names that will be in your upcoming class.
KNOW that each name is important - the way it is pronounced and the respect it deserves.
The name IS the child that you are inviting, welcoming, and including into the family that is your classroom.
Uplift the names, uplift each child.
|this says it all: L-A-U-R-E-N and then she had me write at the bottom "I put a frame around my name!" well done.|
We should ALL feel this proud of our NAME [like Lauren's painting above] where we frame our name in big bold fabulous paint.
S-I-G-N your N-A-M-E.