This week we had our sixth annual Mr Rogers training (inspired by former Explainers, Kristin and Hannah), and reflected on how we have the opportunity to make positive and personal connections with our visitors. Before the training, I looked up some Mr Rogers quotes and after reading them I am sure that Mr Rogers would have definitely been an Explainer fan. Here they are:
Fred Rogers quotes-
“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me. ”
“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.”
“Whether we’re a preschooler or a young teen, a graduating college senior or a retired person, we human beings all want to know that we’re acceptable, that our being alive somehow makes a difference in the lives of others.”
“When we treat children’s play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that’s to be found in the creative spirit. It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.”
“The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.”
I made a version of the trolley to Mr Rogers’ make-believe land. We each wrote things we do to make a visitor feel special on a slip of paper and put it in our homemade trolley. Then we sent the trolley around, and each of us read one of the sentences out load. Here’s what we wrote:
Try to remember the visitors’ names whenever possible.
Check in with the students that I did an orientation for later in the day.
Delight in a child’s discoveries- make it exciting to see what they are learning.
Give a kid a big smile, wide eyes, and enthusiastic praise.
In an orientation ask for a volunteer and be encouraging of what they do and try in front of their group.
Spend time listening to their discoveries at an exhibit.
Teach them how to do a magic trick and then have them do it.
Stop what I’m doing, look them in the eyes, and only listen to what they are saying.
Make them feel comfortable.
Listen to them.
Listen to people, be surprised when visitors find something new.
Do something together!
To be there for them when they need someone to talk to about their discoveries, concerns, stories, etc.
I can make kids feel special by listening to them and validating their ideas.