Last night, I stood outside gazing at the majestic sky, looking for the “Christmas Star” or, in actuality, the rare alignment of the planets Jupiter and Saturn. I hadn’t been there too long when I heard the voices of a few of the neighborhood kids who were playing outside. One of them called me by name and told me I could come to stand with them in their yard so I could see it better. I was ready to go inside, but I could not refuse his invitation. It was a very kind and generous gesture for a middle school boy to offer his help while shooting hoops with his friends. It was quite delightful to hear his explanation of what was happening and what he thought it meant.
While numerous photos appeared online this morning, I wish I would have had a camera to take pictures of the sky and record the short conversation we had. It reminded me that sometimes we (adults) need to take more time to stop and listen to kids and learn from them. Adults, at times, underestimate what young people know, understand, are able to do. They often have some pretty remarkable talents, abilities, and intellectual capacity. Kids love their friends, free time, and activities; however, they also crave interaction and attention from adults. They like to share what they know, and if we take time to listen, we might learn a thing or two from them. As educators, we are in the position of educating and nurturing young people’s hearts and minds. And at times, they also educate and encourage us as well.
In the rush of this busy winter and holiday season, I encourage you to spend a little time with some young people over the break. A little star gazing might be a nice way to spend some time as well.