I had a wonderful opportunity to learn from my nine year-old granddaughter about her recent school experiences.  As you can imagine, she provided many insights as she shared her experiences. Here are a few of her quotes:

About a Recent Field Trip:

  • We thought we would learn about bugs and worms and things on our field trip and we found a ladybug — so we did find bugs
  • We were told what not to do — including do not wander away and stay in our groups
  • We shared with other students what we found during the field trip
  • We learned from other students that they found different bugs than we did
  • We learned about the benefit of snowing during the winter in the mountains so that when it melts it provides water during the year
  • We learned spiders have many eyes
  • We shared that our ladybug had babies since there were many small ladybugs by our ladybug
  • The bus driver welcomed us on the bus and she went with us during the field trip
  • The next day at school we shared with other students about our experiences
  • Next year — in fourth grade — we will visit the zoo and travel further

About Her Third Grade Experiences

  • We get to know other students through math games by helping each other
  • When one student gets done they can help other students who are not done yet
  • It feels good when another student helps me complete my assignment
  • It feels good to help other students when I can
  • We do physical education each day and some of the games we play include choosing good foods to be healthy
  • My teacher was nice, and did not yell at anyone and played music during tests
  • She let us release stress during tests
  • She always helped
  • It is more fun going to school than leaving school
  • After school I go to 21st Century Programs where I can do my homework
  • In the 21st Century Program when we complete our work we are able to do math on the computer
  • When new students join our class we learn their name so we do not call them “new student”
  • We learn to show respect, make good choices and solve problems
  • We learn to solve problems
  • Multiplication was really hard this year
  • I am doing my best by sharing together since we have table groups
  • Our class is really loud, but we try to keep it down

About Her Fourth Grade Expectations:

  • I know who my teacher will be
  • Only four of my fourth grade students will be in my class next year so I will be with many different students and that is OK

On What Makes a Good Teacher:

  • Gives people time to complete their work
  • Helps students when they need help
  • Does not yell at students for not completing their work
  • I would like to be a teacher but keeping my options open

About Connecting With Adults in My School:

  • I am comfortable talking to my teacher, the counselor and my principal if I have a problem in school

In Conclusion

Final question: If you could change anything in your school what would you not change?


I encourage each reader to determine implications for their lives from these quotes and also consider opportunities to have similar conversations with young students – hopefully both activities are helpful, inspirational, educational and fun.

Terry Pickeral
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Terry Pickeral

Terry Pickeral, has extensive experience in policy development, advocacy, education reform, youth leadership, teaching and learning strategies, education collaborations, evaluation and civic development. His commitment is to ensuring schools create and sustain quality teaching and learning environments for all students to be successful in school and contribute to their communities as active principled citizens.
Terry Pickeral
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