As a teacher, I’ve seen some pretty interesting things come to school in kids’ backpacks:
- Lego Minifigures, which I promptly confiscated, took home to photograph in “dangerous” situations, and then returned
- A Ziplock bag of bacon, which was intended as a birthday present for me
- Two tiny dog biscuits in a student’s pocket, “just in case” she met a dog that day
Now that I’m teaching in a virtual classroom, what my students share isn’t limited to what they can smuggle to school in backpacks or pockets. I’m regularly treated to impromptu art shows, tours of students’ houses, and pets…lots and lots of pets!
It has become a virtual show and tell all the time! And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Catherine M. Wallace says to adults, “Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them, all of it has always been big stuff.”
The “show and tell” transcends age. Everyone craves the opportunity to show and tell others what they are proud of. My dad loves to show off the models he’s built and my mom loves to show pictures of her grandchildren to friends. There is no greater joy for a teacher than to show off the work of a student who “finally got it!”
When someone takes the time to “show and tell,” they’re taking a risk. They’re saying, “Look here! This is important to me, even if it isn’t important to you.” Because “show and tell” is so much less about the actual object and so much more about the actual person. So take the time to look at what they show you. To REALLY look. Ask them questions. And appreciate how special it is to be part of someone’s joy…especially if they bring bacon.
taking a risk and sharing something important to you with someone else.
Make it a point to ask someone about an object you know is important to them.