Today RT came in to school with a passionate storm of ideas about Donald Trump. He explained that he “just doesn’t really like Trump very much” because he’s not very nice, and all he cares about is money but he doesn’t care about people or animals. I recorded about 10 minutes of video of this child’s concerns and ideas. Overall, he was taking a much more peaceful approach than many of us have fantasized I think, and had an invitation for Trump. He wanted him to come to our school so the teachers here could “train” him.
“Do you think you would make a good president, RT?”, I asked.
RT: “Hmm, well I think I’m a little too small.”
Katee: “Well I think Trump is a little too mean.”
RT: “Well someday we might teach him to be nice.”
I sighed a huge sigh of doubt and the awe for the beauty of this naivety that sounded like Trump was the Grinch and we might watch his heart grow three sizes one day in front of our eyes. “I hope so.”, was all I could say.
RT: “Well, how are we gonna get him to get here?”
Katee: “maybe we should write him a letter?”
“Yeah, I think so. Okay, I’ll say the words and you write it down, okay? Dear Trump…”
And then the most spectacular letter was born from this young colleague’s mind. I sat with baited breath for each sentence trying not to simultaneously cry and giggle at the sweetness of the whole thing.
I had certainly thought about teaching Trump a thing or two, for sure, but I had never though about writing an invitation for him to join us. This child describes our classroom goals and agreements in such a beautiful childhood way. Talking about candy for pinatas, and feeding rabbits may sound like sweet silly childish ideas, but he truly speaks about some important concepts. People all over need money, not just for big fancy golf courses, but for almost every little thing that one wants to acquire. “We need money for toys, we need money for medicine, we need money for candies for pinatas! We need money to buy everything!”, RT told me earlier.
He touches on taking care of each other and our environment as being strong lessons we uphold here. Sharing materials, standing in a line, taking care of toys- these are all about sharing our time, our space, and our items with a larger community outside of ourselves. RT talks about caring for our plants and rabbits which are some big jobs in teaching responsibility and building empathy at our school.
At the end he really emphasized to me that if you want to be nice, you just can be nice and throws in a “please” to plead to Trump to consider caring about others and joining us in our lessons at Tulip Tree. “I think Trump really needs to come to Tulip Tree and be in preschool with us,” he said in the morning, “but he’s gonna have to shrink down for his training.” Well I don’t know if RT was referring to his physical size or his giant ego, but either way this kid has some beautiful ideas about what is important in life and leadership!