I think kindergarten teachers everywhere missed an opportunity to toot our own horns when social media started using emojis. After all, haven’t we been using smiling faces on papers, letters, and notes forever? A small symbol can have a big impact, and they take almost no time or talent to apply. I realized this when I searched my house for the “feelings” masks that an aide had made for me one year. I am getting ready for the summer workshop and wanted them, but they are not to be found. We spend the year helping children read each other’s faces in order to solve daily conflicts, and now I can see that emojis can be a help to me. Not only they are useful, but the children already understand them. They are everywhere.
I smile when I think of how often I attach an emoji to text messages. There is a plethora of feelings to express with the simple symbols, and those little faces are familiar, yet packaged in a new, digital way. As human beings, it seems we crave the latest thing and we become easily bored over the same thing year after year or even day to day. So, even if I find those cute masks, I will make some emojis the children can hold and identify. Will it make me seem current and up to date, when it is really helping with a theme I have explored for years? I think so, at least this year.
It would make life easier if we didn’t have to constantly change things up or repackage our themes in different ways. The trouble is, we would be bored. Our classrooms change from year to year and so should the way we do things. So take a look at what you are doing and see if a few changes can make it look fresh and new. Consider partnering with someone who is adept at using technology, and if you are that person consider partnering with someone who has depth in common themes. You will soon have a summer to think about it. J J J