Sunday, August 28, 2016

What if we listened to Daniel Tiger?

If you are around young children, you no doubt know Daniel Tiger and his neighborhood friends. And if you grew up with Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. you will certainly know this cast of characters from the Land of Make Believe. My son Justin, who is two, loves Daniel Tiger,  Katerina Kittycat, O the Owl, and the rest. As parents, we love the messages the show sends and creates wonderful opportunities to talk, share, learn, and grow together as a family.  In fact, there is some research that indicates that Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood can actually help our preschooler to develop stronger empathy and social skills through viewing.

While it's certainly easy to tune out when hearing a song like "Find a Way to Play Together " when you've heard it for the umpteenth time, I have actually found myself paying attention to the lyrics. This could be because Justin has started to sing along and it helps me to make sense of what he is actually singing. It could also be because I just can't tune it out any longer.

Even though there are parents out there who may not like Daniel Tiger, I think we can all agree that he's not nearly as bad as Caillou.

When I was younger, I read a book called "All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum. Essentially, it was a collection of essays reminding us that we overcomplicate our lives and that we should embrace being present with one another. I found it poignant then and still often think about how much of our adult lives would be better spent trying to embrace those social-emotional lessons that were the heart of preschool and kindergarten learning.

In many ways, I have found that same poignancy in the songs and messages of Daniel Tiger.  It's easy to dismiss a cartoon and songs as "just for kids", but I will argue that the vitriol and lack of common courtesy and kindness this election cycle has produced should be proof positive we need to listen to Daniel and his friends. Being nice to one another, being able to disagree without being disagreeable, and sharing ideas with one another are just as important for adults. Check just about any message board or facebook post and it should be alarmingly obvious it may be MORE important for adults.

As educators, there are tons of great messages too. In an era of misguided and harmful policy and implementation, it can be hard to find much worth holding onto. Yet, Daniel reminds us that  Friends Help Each Other, Yes They Do!, and that When Something Seems Bad, Turn It Around and Find Something Good!. He also explains that When We Do Something New, Let's Talk About What We'll Do and that we should Stop, Think, and Choose.

My intention is not to diminish the professionalism of teachers by referencing a show for pre-schoolers. Teaching has become a complicated minefield of challenges and difficulties and those who are not in schools do not necessarily understand how different the politics of teaching is today compared to 15 years ago.  Statistics tell us that fewer and fewer college graduates are entering the teaching profession and morale is at an all time low. And any teacher who hears Daniel sing   When you have to go Potty, Stop and Go Right Away! is silently laughing to themselves because they recognize they chose  a profession which hardly allows for bathroom breaks or even a lunch break that does not involve supporting students, making parent phone calls, or answering the plethora of emails mounting in their inbox.

As we begin a new school year, my hope for teachers everywhere is to be a little bit like Daniel Tiger. Remember what it felt like to learn with your friends, to play, to imagine, to wonder, and to look for the good in everything.  Bring that type of joy and learning to your classroom.

What if we listened to Daniel Tiger?


  1. Thank you for sharing of information for me. If you are interested in the services we are offering, I would like to share with you some information about our services, such as: In the wedding invitation in Hanoi (In thiệp cưới tại hà nội), canvas printing workshop in Hanoi cheapest (xưởng in bạt giá rẻ nhất tại hà nội), on-demand printing wedding invitation (in thiệp cưới theo yêu cầu), accessories, kitchen cabinet (phụ kiện tủ bếp), stainless steel kitchen cabinets (tủ kho inox nhà bếp), the price upside down bowl smart (giá úp bát thông minh), door mosquito netting good sort (cửa lưới chống muỗi loại nào tốt), installation of door nets mosquito (lắp đặt cửa lưới chống muỗi), self-rolling mosquito screen door (cửa lưới chống muỗi tự cuốn), mosquito net door (cửa lưới chống muỗi), printed packaging (in bao bì), the following processing in (Gia công sau in), printed T services in Hanoi (dịch vụ in áo tại hà nội), cheap printing company in Ha internal (công ty in giá rẻ tại hà nội), glass staircase (cầu thang kính), iron staircase (cầu thang sắt), stainless steel staircase (cầu thang inox), see feng shui (xem phong thủy), negative feng shui Trach (phong thủy âm trạch), named for the feng shui (phong thủy đặt tên cho con) and repair imac in Hanoi (sửa chữa imac tại hà nội).

  2. what a great post it is nice informative post n Keep sharing more article guys. Also check a new post on top 10 ways to reduce bounce rate of a website. Your blog is very useful to me. I will share it for everyone


  3. Thank you for this article, as it helped me to understand more about life, life can be even more difficult if you try to do the will do amazing things. I have some sources of information about the services they are providing. if anyone is interested please watch it right.
    Vacuum units dz300a >
    Máy hút chân không dz300a <
    Vacuum units dzq 400 >Máy hút chân không dzq 400 <
    Continuous Bag Welding Machine> Máy hàn miệng túi liên tục <

  4. Cảm ơn bài viết hay của bạn. Doca chuyên cung cấp lều xông hơi gia đình và lều xông hơi uy tín và chất lượng trên thị trường hiện nay

  5. Now I can understand what is reality man. thanks a lot for your awesome tutorial bro.
    I just loved it. because I can learn some
    valuable things from it . Visit web help thanks.
    there i my little web help

  6. Nice and valuable post. I really like this excellent and interesting blog.

  7. It was wonderful. I really enjoy blogging with these kinds of people. To me it seems everytime i try to read new posts i get something new that is useful to my life. Visit to see massage girls available.
    body to body massage

  8. Thanks For The Great Content Dear. I Will Also Share With My Friends & Once Again Thanks A Lot

    do follow link
    Best Online Supermarket