Sounding Joy: Kids are extraordinary
Being a kid is tough, REALLY tough! They are learning at a rate faster than anyone can put into words. Social media, youth sports, pressure, communication, assessing, electronic grading, pacing of learning, mental and physical health, family dynamics, etc. We could spend hours talking about the stresses that make growing up in 2021 difficult. I often hear adults say, “I would love to go back and live my childhood over again!” However, the way we grew up was incredibly different than now. I ask adults to think about how challenging it is to be a kid today. They are pressured in so many ways and have expectations unlike anything before. In my 22nd year as an educator with the Davenport Schools, I feel blessed to work with students each day. My lens as an elementary principal always comes from the heart of a child. I always think, “What are kids facing that I can support them with?” It is amazing to talk to children and listen to all of the ways they are navigating their schedules and commitments. I am astonished to find out what they know and all they have witnessed.
In this month’s devotion, “Sounding Joy,” I would like to celebrate the lives of our youth today! They bring so much enthusiasm to our world and cannot thank them enough for all: they endure, persevere through, and show resilience towards. I would encourage adults to take time to thank kids and be an advocate for them. Just at school alone, kids have to sit for the majority of their 7 hour and 40 minute day with few breaks except to use the restroom and eat lunch. Can you imagine having to do that again as an adult? They are put in classes to be assessed on their learning frequently and are graded on daily tasks, even if they have not mastered a skill. This begins at the age of 5-years old, when many of us were able to take naps and have playtime when we were that age. Kids are extraordinary!
For the past few years, I have been fortunate to be a confirmation sponsor at church. Seeing our St. Paul students navigate their middle and high school years with faith driving their lives is inspiring! It always brings me JOY talking to them about their highs and lows of the week and praying with them. As we celebrate this holiday season, I encourage you to reach out and thank a child. They are my inspiration and bring so much JOY TO THE WORLD.
Sara Gott has been a lifelong member of St. Paul Lutheran Church. She is a Principal at Blue Grass Elementary School in the Davenport Community School District. Her son Anthony is a sophomore at Davenport Central High School and daughter Emily is a 7th grader at Sudlow Intermediate. Her husband Kyle is a private banker with Quad City Bank & Trust and they have two dogs, Cocoa & Ellie. Her parents are Pam and Harold Abdo and brother is David Abdo.