From the Mouths of Babes Comes Perspective

Over the 18 years I have served in education, I have collected pieces of conversations that grounded me in my beliefs and values in the profession. I have written hundreds of kid quotes down in journals, on sticky notes, in electronic documents, and in my phone. Kids say the darndest things! Some are hilarious, some are sad. Some are inspirational, some are painfully honest! There are those moments when kids tell you in their own words exactly what your purpose is. Those are the moments I treasure more than any of the others. The following list is a collection of kid quotes–excerpts from conversations I have accumulated over the years. I hope they warm your heart at least half as much as they have mine.

“Mrs. Hill, do you live at school? I want to know where your bed is.”

“When I grow up I am going to find you and give you some money from my job, since teachers don’t make much.”

“Is your name Mrs. Hill (with long, drawn southern accent) because you wear high heels?”

“If you wasn’t so tall, I wouldn’t have to hug your leg. I could at least hug your belly.”

“Why is your hair like that? It looks weird. Tomorrow will you put it back the way it’s ‘posed to be?”

“Nana, this is Mrs. Hill. She is the police of our school, but she doesn’t arrest us because she loves us too much.”

“Mrs. Hill, I just want you to know that you were one of my favorite teachers, and a big reason why I am studying to become a teacher myself. Thank you for inspiring me.”

“If I had a mom, I would want her to smell just like you.”

“Mrs. Hill, can I come stay with you? I promise I will not eat all your food or fight with your sons. I will be quiet and help you clean.”

“My dad said if he had a principal like I do when he was little, that he would have been in trouble every day. I don’t get him sometimes.”

Kinder Kid: How old are you? Me: How old do you think I am? Kinder Kid: Ummm probably like 28 or 32 or something like that. Me: Well, I am a little older than that. “Kinder Kid: It’s okay. If your  knees or back hurts, some days you can stay in your office and rest.”

“I love this school because people hug a lot, especially you and I never knew principals hugged before.”

“Can I call you Mom?”

“Sometimes when I am at home, I wish I could just live at school.”

“You smile more than anybody I know, and it makes me happy.”

“Thank you for making me feel important.”

“Sometimes I wish I wasn’t alive anymore because I stay sad all the time.”

“Mrs. Hill, I just really miss my mom and I was wondering if you could find out where she is.”

“When I grow up, I am going to be a teacher, and then I can come here and teach so you can quit and go camping or something.”

“I don’t understand why nobody will love my mom for very long, or wants to be my dad. They all leave, and she is always so sad.”

“Thanks for making me fall in love with reading. Until third grade I hated it.”

“Can you move to middle school and be our principal, or bring some 5th grade teachers here to teach us?”

“I will always remember you because you smiled and hugged me every single day.”

Perspective. Some cute, some funny, some heart wrenching, some inspiring. I cherish them all and so many more that I have tucked away in journals. Kids remind us each and every school day of our purpose. We are here to serve them at every level, no matter how much they need. All kids deserve adults in their lives who listen, empathize, celebrate, cry, mourn, and learn right along with them. It is humbling and empowering all at once to hear some of the powerful things they say, no matter what emotion they may evoke. From the mouths of babes…