Bucket-filling at the Preschool

October 01, 2019

The start of a new school year brings about many emotions. Excitement for the teachers to welcome new children and families; worry for the parents of children entering into school for the first time, happiness for the children coming back to be reunited with old friends and teachers, and optimism for the wonderful experiences and learning that will occur throughout the school year. As the teachers prepared to embrace the new children that would cross through their doorways, they were reflective in the way they wanted their classroom community to work together. One of the greatest lessons we can teach any child is the ability to recognize how their behavior has a direct effort on their own environment and the world around them.

The book Have you Filled a Bucket Today is a wonderful way to illustrate this lesson. “Bucket fillers” are defined as individuals who, without being asked, help give compliments and spread good feelings to others. This is a story that encourages positive behavior by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show children how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation, and love by “filling the buckets” of those close to them.

People who “dip” into our buckets often rob us of happy feelings by refusing to help with a task or by saying or doing cruel things. This simple metaphor helps both children and adults to understand the importance of consideration, gratitude, and love. As educators, promoting these behaviors is to model them. When we show our children what it looks like and sounds like to be kind, there is a far greater chance they will repeat these modeled behaviors and value themselves and each other while learning to be helpful and compassionate.

If you visit the Preschool, you will see evidence of these teachings every day. Gratitude is a virtue because we are teaching children to celebrate themselves, their peers, and the world around them. When we are grateful, it is impossible to also be hateful, angry, or fearful. Gratitude can only be given; it is a gift that we give to each other. It allows us to see value, virtue, and benefit in everything including God’s presence in our life. In turn, without realizing it they are helping to make the world a happier place. A simple life lesson all wrapped up into a children’s book that allows us to be grateful for the families, children, and teachers that are a part of this year at First Presbyterian Preschool.

Suzie Brunner
Preschool Director

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