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Making Friends… with Bears!

September 23, 2020 | Sossi Essajanian

During the second week of school, the Sky Class children learned more about their space, their teachers, and each other. By laughing at jokes together, playing, and taking turns with materials, children began to think about the ways to share how they are feeling. There are many emotions those first days… and every day! Children explore these and other feelings through play.

So the teachers decided to read the book Corduroy to help the children explore feelings of being in a new place. The group began thinking about how Corduroy felt being in the department store for the first time. They talked about when he couldn’t find his button and how his new friend Lisa showed him her love. The children said, she brought him home, hugged him, and fixed his overalls.

Coincidentally… a troupe of stuffed bears recently joined the Sky Class and needed some help to learn how to be at school. The children were excited to welcome them and counted to make sure there were enough bears for each child. How were they going to welcome them, show the bears love, and that they were cared for?


“… telling him I really love him.” -Nariah

“… giving it a kiss.” -Annika

“… hugging the bear.” -Cole

“… giving it a hug.” -Solymar

“… be[ing] nice to him.” -Luke

“I will tell her.” -SophiAna

“I play with him.” -Jacob

So they thought about teaching the bears about their new place: the Sky Classroom. They needed to know where to wash their hands, how to sit on the Nest, and where to eat lunch. Then each child took turns choosing their bear.

Since the bears will stay at school, the children realized that it was difficult to tell them apart so they decided to choose names for their bear.

Once all the bears were named, the children hung a name tag on their bear and decorated it according to their new friend’s preference. Who knew bears had so much taste in color and design!

But a bear is more than a name… the children wondered what else is unique about each bear? What does each bear like eat? What does each bear like to play? What does each bear like to wear? Do some of them have similar likes and dislikes?

Stay tuned to meet the entire Sky Class Bear Family next week!

Sossi Essajanian

Teacher, Sky Class

Sossi Essajanian is excited to continue her teaching and learning journey at the Mustard Seed School. She began teaching at the United Nations International School where she worked with children and colleagues from around the world. This inspired her to take a primary teaching position abroad in Nicosia, Cyprus, where she lived and worked for two years.

Ms. Essajanian has a passion for supporting children’s social/emotional skills and learning through a loving and caring classroom community. These are built on creating shared understandings and opportunities for children to identify and express their feelings and of those around them. She believes in creating experiences through pair and group work where learning blossoms through social experiences.

Ms. Essajanian also enjoys reading and talking about books and continues to pursue her second passion: editing. She’s worked in various editorial capacities in newspapers, magazines, and books. She was recently excited to serve as the development editor of a children’s book about engineering and is looking forward to leading some tinkering investigations of her own with her students!

In her free time Ms. Essajanian runs, swims laps, and likes to take long walks to explore the world around her.

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