As I sat down to write my blog for the week, I knew I wanted to focus on the emotional well-being of kids – but as much as I tried to write, the memory of my post from last year at this time kept pulling my attention away. Happily, the content fits perfectly:

On Thursday I was featured at the Soar to Success Summit, an online professional development conference for early childhood educators. Teachers from around the globe tuned in to watch and learn. My favorite aspect of the conference was a discussion feed where everyone commented on sessions, providing feedback and networking.

The energy and excitement evident in the discussion feed was incredible. As I continually read and responded to participants, I was immersed in the positivity and encouragement radiating from the group. I feel certain if this energy were harnessed, we could power a small nation.

I’ve been surrounded by young children throughout my teaching career, and their natural joy and wonder have always had a positive impact on my emotional state. Now I look back on those years favorably because the kids shaped my memories and experiences, accordingly. And if three, four and five-year-olds can have that kind of impact on me, imagine what kind of emotional imprint we can leave on them by doing the same.

I, for one, am going to do what I can to make sure the memories I help create for kids come from a place of me assuming positive intent, looking for the good, and highlighting the hope. I believe if we all did this, it would go a long way in strengthening the emotional well-being of our youngest learners. Thanks to the Soar to Success participants for this reminder, as they served as the inspiration for this post.

Hans Christian Anderson once wrote, “Where words fail, music speaks.” So, maybe this link will better convey today’s message. Before you watch it, know that both kids and music feed my soul. Put them together – and I’m defenseless.