Ava’s Song 5
other time for planning, and I pride myself on my lesson plans. It takes
thorough planning to be effective as an educator. Every week I have
classroom goals as well as individual goals. So I needed to concentrate
and focus. I was on a thought train, and I didn’t really want to derail it.
It would have been so easy just to tell Ava to lie down and rest so I could
continue with my planning.
After that time with Ava, I realized that vowing to be present and
available for the children was going to take some practice. How many
times even that same day had I put off a child so that we could com-
plete my agenda? Right before naptime Karrin had asked to show me
something, and I had told her that we would look at it later. But I hadn’t
followed through. Now I was wondering what I had missed. Teachable
moments have passed me by.
Spencer Johnson wrote an amazing book about being present in the
present. This is one of my favorite quotes from it:
Being In The Present Means
Tuning Out Distractions
And Paying Attention To
What Is Important, Now.
You Create Your Own Present
By What You Give
Your Attention To Today.
(Johnson 2003, 40)
The closing lines are powerful: “You create your own present by
what you give your attention to today.” That sentence works with both
definitions of “present.” You make a gift out of what you focus your
attention on, as well as create your own awareness out of where you
choose to direct your attention.
We give children a gift—a present—of being present. This means not
just being physically in the room but being available to answer questions
and to meet needs, to put their agendas before our own. Ava needed
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