“A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge” – Thomas Carlyle
I will never forget my first day of kindergarten. I wore my favorite ruffly dress that twirled nicely, my hair in pigtails, and clutched my favorite pink doll tightly. I was excited and terrified all at once.
I was eager to learn and even more eager to be liked by my classmates. Thankfully, the first face to greet me that morning was my teacher, Ms. Neal. Ms. Neal was one of those people created to make small people feel significant, loved, and happy.We were a group of over twenty kids, but Ms. Neal made us all feel special. And there was nothing that we wanted more than to see her smile and sense her approval of our oddly-cut shapes or wobbly-written letters. And approval she gave – loads of it.
Over thirty years later, my brother, a Delta pilot, returned to sit in the back of her classroom just to watch Ms. Neal work her magic. The children quietly sat in their places, raised their hands, respecting her and each other.How did she do it? How did she inspire five year old children to listen to her, respect each other, and most importantly to love learning?