On a recent visit to the Pre-K Dragonfly room, I was privvy to a wonderful moment. The children had made Krumkaka (Scandinavian cookies) with a mom of Norwegian descent, and the group was marking Norway on their maps of the world. At this point, one child said:
“When it’s morning here, the night comes out in Korea.”
Very quietly one teacher reached behind her and pulled the globe off the shelf, and picked up a round yellow puzzle piece. Without saying a word, her co-teacher began leading a discussion about how the sun shines on half of the world and the other half is in darkness. She spun the globe around and pointed out the different countries and states represented by our families: China, Korea, Norway, Haiti, California and Hawaii. The children were engrossed, crowding around and putting their heads by the globe to see where they could or could not see the sun.
These two educators, working in tandem, took wonderful advantage of an unscripted teachable moment which captivated the children. It was reminiscent of a dance, where each partner takes his or her cue from the other, and wordlessly communicate something to the other, making a beautiful fluid harmony that was enjoyed by all.