Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Waiting with Anticipation

"I'm waiting......." she said in a semi-sarcastic tone as she sat patiently with a large package on her lap, eagerly anticipating her next turn to open a Christmas present. The five-year-old daughter of my husband's cousin was trying to make her feelings known as she was waiting her turn to open another gift.

Around the living room, her much older teenage cousins took turns opening presents while her younger sister was happily distracted with a new toy.

Was she bored?  Probably not - plenty of toys, games, and art supplies were in opened packages surrounding her.

Was she impatient?  Somewhat, given that she was a very excited five year old with a pile of Christmas presents, not to mention she was in a room with eleven other adults and five teenagers involved in their own conversations and not rushing to open their gifts.

Still her voice cut through the air and made me stop and remember.....what awesome anticipation a young child has, not only for Christmas but for every day.

Sunday, December 21st celebration at Grandma E.'s house.
As children grow older, their patience level tends to rise to balance their anticipation. On the same evening, my sixteen year old daughter was "behind" a couple presents in the rotation and didn't even realize or mind it as she was enjoying the experience of watching everyone else discover their new gifts.

This experience made me wonder if, as teachers, we are misinterpreting what we classify to be boredom and impatience?

What will our students be anticipating as they return to our classrooms after their winter break? What will draw them in and keep their attention, or prompt them to ask for more? Will they be eagerly anticipating each day of class, opening new "gifts" of learning as they unwrap new ideas and skills?

Or, will they be saying, "I'm waiting......" as we carry on with our everyday routines and lessons?

Will their level of patience and self-control be sufficient, or are they sending us signals that they are anticipating a learning experience that will be one to be remembered when their parent asks, "What did you do today?"

Not every educational experience will match the joy of opening a gift at Christmas, but a classroom that regularly evokes the anticipation of a child will be the arena for awesome learning experiences.


  1. Anticipation is powerful. What do the faces of children look like each morning when they come to school with a sense of anticipation. I have seen those faces but not often enough. That is our responsibility as teachers. As we create those moments, learning becomes more meaningful. Great thoughts,Jen. Merry Christmas.

    1. Thanks, Wayne. I agree. Creating those sparkling eyes and eager faces is a responsibility but the meaningful learning that can come out of it is powerful!