Earlier this school year, we started a new article series called "I am..." For each of these articles, I sit down with one student from each grade level that we see in PM and simply ask them to complete the sentence "I am..." Students can finish this sentence however they'd like. I give them very few guidelines or suggestions, because I want them to answer honestly and give genuine answers.
This DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion)-related exercise allows students to examine their identity in an approachable, comfortable way. It allows us also to see how each student views themselves and what they think is really important to who they are as a person.
Our first article in the series came out a few months ago and featured one of our second graders. This time around, we talked to one of our kindergarteners.
This kindergartener was very eager to participate in this exercise. Besides needing a little bit of help with spelling, he did not need any help coming up with what he wanted to write down. He was excited to add each item and that he could add as many as he wanted to. With each descriptor that he wrote, he would tell me a story. For example, he told me his grandparents were in town visiting. He wrote down "grandson," because he was enjoying spending time with them.
Other things he wrote down signified some of his many hobbies. He told me about the sports he enjoys playing and things he enjoys learning about. Because of his many interests, he views himself in many different ways. He doesn't feel tied down to just one element of his identity. He is a grandson, but he also is a soccer player. And an animal person. And a student!
I thoroughly enjoyed spending my time with this student and seeing what elements of himself he wanted to highlight. Keep an eye out for our next installment of this article series!