What I Learned From Spending a Day at an Elementary School

Note: All names have been omitted or changed in this post, well, just because.

“Well, are you worn out? Ready for a nap?” the principal said to me as I checked out for the day.

“I feel great! Today was awesome, I couldn’t have asked for a better day with such amazing kids.” I replied.

And with that, my first day as a Watch Dog was over.

It’s true, too. I got to spend 8 hours at my kids school, floating around helping out all the teachers, playing with the kids, eating lunch with my own, and just trying to be a positive presence in the school.

In honor of the great teachers at my kids’ school, and the amazing kids I hung out with there, I wanted to share a few things I heard/learned throughout my day as a watch dog.

1. Ava’s first grade teacher starts off every day making sure the students say together these 4 sentences…

  1. Today is going to be a great day.
  2. Today I choose to be happy.
  3. Today I will let no one take away my joy.
  4. I am responsible for my happiness.

I’m going to print these sentences out for myself to read every morning as well. Beautiful, right?

2. “How come they don’t have Watch MOGS?” I was asked.
“I don’t know the answer to that, but I do have a better question, what is a mog?” I replied.

When I got some blank looks, I said, “A mog is a half dog/half unicorn that exists to spread love and cheer across the world.”
“Unicorns fart rainbows!” an eager first grader shouted back at me.

3. I heard another first grader say, “When I’m joyful, others around me are joyful and happy.” Yes, yes they are, my young friend. So simple and so true.

4. While helping an amazing 4th grader with his math, we discussed all the awesome things there is to discuss about piranhacondas and titanoboas (titanoboa skeleton pictured below). This wonderful young man told me that Watch dogs should have a badge, and the next time I am a Watch dog he’ll have one made for me. It’s going to be a shield with a big black titanoboa on it. I’m honored and stoked!

5. That same 4th grader and I had a solid discussion about designing a limo with a bowling alley in it. As always, I encouraged him to dream big.

6. I learned all about the 10 Finger Woo. A salute given to someone when they do something awesome in class. I need more 10 Finger Woo’s in my life, how about you?

7. While reading with some kindergartners, the book they were reading had the word “hated” in it. They all 4 came to that word and said, we can’t say that, it’s a bad word. I love that. I tell my kids all the time we don’t say the word hate. It’s just a negative word and doesn’t add any value to life. We can extremely dislike things, but hate is so strong. Leave it to 4 kindergartners to remind me to think twice about the words I use.

8. I spotted a life lesson from Dallas Clayton

9.  At lunch with some 3rd graders, I watched as a kid grabbed his foot, kicked himself in the nuts, exclaimed, “Owwww….my tenders!” then proceeded to pop a grape in his mouth. We all chuckled. And, laughter is in fact the best medicine, right?

10. Lunch with kindergartners led to us all somehow smelling each other’s arm pits and then saying what they smelled like. Birthday cake, apple fritters, roses, my dog, poop, chocolate chip cookies, and bacon were all said at some point during these interactions.

11. While learning about double checking their work in kindergarten, I heard this exchange…

“You can count 100 times.”
“But then you’d be tired.”
“What happened to once is enough?”

Amen, kid, what did happen to once is enough?

12. I had a nice chat while making dominoes in the shape of peace signs and hearts about a little girl and all the things she prays for. It was sweet. And helped remind me to pray more throughout the day, to give thanks for all the wonderful things life has to offer. Kids are amazing and teach us all kinds of cool things like that, right?

13. I spotted my son teaching his friend the benefits of meditation in the hall, and I smiled 🙂

14. Lastly, the teachers that my kids have at their school are incredible. They are positive, uplifting, encouraging, and I’m so thankful that we’re blessed to send them to a school that’s full of teachers with great big hearts. Jenny + I couldn’t be happier that if we have to send our kids off to school, that we know they’re surrounded by amazing role models.

All in all, I spent most of the day laughing with kids, and when I wasn’t laughing, I was just admiring all their courage and bravery and awesomeness. Kids really are rad humans. The kids re-enforced my beliefs that they are the most creative (and honest) people alive. When you reach out to them with an open heart and an open mind, it’s amazing the things they’ll tell you. They live in the present moment, all the time. They’re not worried about past mistakes or stressing about their future. They just want to maximize fun in the present moment, and who can blame them? Life is way better when we choose to maximize happiness in the present moment, too.


Josh Solar (624 Posts)

I am a: Joy Seeker. Big Dreamdoer. Family Adventurer. Connoisseur of fine music. Practitioner of Gratitude. Painter of Watercolors.