My Blue is Happy

My sister says that blue is sad, like a lonely song, but my blue is happy like my favourite jeans and a splash in the pool on a hot day.

This is the opening line in the book My Blue is Happy by Jessica Young. A lyrical ode to colours and the unique way we as individuals perceive them.

We have been working hard with the JKs this year to help them recognize the many different emotions they experience throughout the day. We want to teach them to recognize when they are feeling happy, sad, frustrated, worried, calm or silly. We want to teach them that it is okay to have these feelings, and give them the resources and strategies to help regulate them.

It was on a day like any other that we decided to read, My Blue is Happy. As I sat there reading, I didn’t know how much it would mean to the JKs sitting, listening so quietly on the carpet, or to be honest how much it would affect me.

We live in a world that is so rich with colour I think sometimes we forget to appreciate it. Eventually each colour seems to bleed into the next, and before you know it when you think of colour you think of them as society has inadvertently taught you to: “I’m green with envy”, “I feel blue”, “I’m so angry I see red!” and so on. When you really think about it, it is actually quite sad.

So, when the story was finished we asked our students to close their eyes and think of a colour and how it makes them feel. The next day we read the story again and afterwards put on quiet music, and put out white paper and watercolour paints. We asked them to explore with the colours, and to think about how they felt with each colour they used.

Afterwards one student told me “blue makes me feel like an ocean; calm and relaxed”. Another told me that green makes them feel brave. Each student saw these colours in a way completely unique to them.

My hope for my students is that they never stop appreciating the beauty that is around them, and that they never stop seeing these colours in the way that is meaningful to them.

It was later that day as I sat in the hall waiting for one of my students to wash their hands that I found myself staring out the window, watching the snow falling and thought:

My white is peaceful, like slowly falling snow and clouds floating across the sky.

I encourage you to close your eyes now and think of a colour. Do you have one? Good! Now tell me, how does it make you feel?

Nervous for Nothing

Starting a new job is not easy. In fact, it is often nerve-racking. Like those “minor-niner” days in high school, you’re beginning a new chapter in your life, one that you’ve been preparing for, but still feel completely unfamiliar with. A number of thoughts run through your head: “Will I make new friends?” “I hope I don’t get lost!” “Am I going to embarrass myself?”

I have always been a nervous person. In school, when I had to do a presentation, I would shake so much that eventually the notes in my hands would become useless. I can assure you that these feelings didn’t subside as I grew older. All this being said, I’m sure you can imagine the state I was in leading up to my first day at KCS.

I will tell you now that all those nerves were unnecessary.

I was told how great KCS was before I started. This is not surprising as they wanted me to join their community. Imagine my surprise when all those amazing things I had heard turned out to be true and not just a clever ploy to get me to say yes.

Every staff member has been so welcoming and supportive, and they’ve done this in a way that doesn’t emphasize the fact that I’m new. If I didn’t know any better I would think I had been here for a couple years, not a couple weeks. The students, although many of them are not familiar with my face, have been nothing but polite and respectful. I think we all know how impressive this is. We were all students once, and likely ready to test the new/substitute teachers.

I can honestly say looking back at all the jobs that I’ve had that  I have never felt more comfortable, more welcomed, more appreciated, and more excited to wake up in the morning than I have at KCS. This school is special, and I am so excited to be a part of the community!

Diana Bowes
Teacher, Early Learning Program