Hearts student artwork

Maria and Oonagh’s Little Hearts

by Maria Brown

Our kinder­garten­ers and first graders want to share the things in their rooms, their pets, their favorite toy. And we patiently hold space for them on these screens, being present, smiling, hoping to teach them, among other things, how to share and show empathy. Today, one of our students said to Oonagh, I am not feeling myself today,” and Oonagh replied, Oh, I am so sorry! I am going to send you a heart. I love you and hope you have a better day!” She placed a heart into the Zoom class­room. And then I said, Me, too! I am sending you a heart as well.” And suddenly, hearts started popping up all over the screen. Our students were sharing their hearts. 

This felt like a big moment of connec­tion. After all, isn’t the heart the start­ing point for all impor­tant learn­ing? We are here every day holding up our students. And they are holding us up, too, with their little acts of love and reve­la­tion, with their expres­sions of genuine frus­tra­tion and enthu­si­asm. This is the moment we are in.