~ Gladys Dyson, Kindergarten Teacher
Three weeks ago, our Kindergarten students released the 5 butterflies they had watched develop from caterpillars. The excitement was high as the insects flew off, but there was some sadness too as our students loved watching these beautiful and fascinating creatures leave our learning space. Tiny caterpillars had arrived in the mail in early May, and we watched them grow, develop into chrysalides, and then waited eagerly for the butterflies to emerge. Our students were so interested in watching the butterflies feed and fly around in their mesh habitat. Most were sad to see them released, but I explained how they needed to be free to move on to bigger spaces and continue to grow.
On Friday, June 2, our last day of the school year, we released our precious Kindergarten students onto bigger things. They flew from the protected space of our K classrooms, much like the chrysalides (one definition is a protected stage of development), since they are ready to take off and learn, read and shine!
When we released the butterflies, 3 flew out of the habitat quite quickly (to rousing cheers, of course!), but two seemed reluctant to leave the safety of the known green mesh space. Those two had to be coaxed out and still one hung around on my finger for about 5 minutes, then on the nearby sidewalk. I find our K students are not much different. Last week, several talked excitedly about moving on to 1st grade and looking forward to what new and challenging things they would do there. But others were a bit tearful and said they wanted to stay in Kindergarten. While I would love to keep any of them, who would want to keep these eager students from the wonders that lie ahead? Who would want to limit their potential? They are ready, and though their excited giggles and delightful unique personalities will be missed, I will enjoy seeing them move on to new challenges and adventures. And I will look forward to the new little ones who will come through our doors in August – ready to grow, learn and again move on.