Memories from Kindergarten

Collier Zug '24, Staff writer

Our youngest learners don’t get enough credit for being the future of Friends. Some of them lucky enough to be taught by one of the greatest teachers in the Lower School, the late Jane Goldberg, have grown up to be thoughtful and fun students. Jane was the most caring teacher I remember having. She would give us kisses and treat us like her own children. In her classroom, there were three guinea pigs: GingerAle, Bee Bee and Bee Gee. She made school into an adventure of fun activities and learning. Oh and nap time. Especially nap time.


Besides being cared for, we learned a lot too. Not having homework, as I realized later, was a supreme luxury. Impossible as that may sound, we did do work. He was what was called “Tricky Papers.” They were simple problems for you to solve each day. They were pattern recognition and literary problems, to help you read. Recess was also a special part of the day. We could run loudly outside and rush to the jungle gyms or the cars or the house to play family. School and life, in general, were so carefree, it almost feels like an impossible thing to me now.


We would have Headline News where we shared stories of our cute little lives, though we never remembered them. We would sit in a circle and talk about new things in our lives and the day ahead of us. At the end of the day, my parents would ask what we talked about. Our days were full of fun, from playing in the sandbox, driving toy cars around, playing tag, and once, building a lego train all the way down the hallway, that I couldn’t remember. Even though I don’t have a ton of memories from that year, I know it was special. 


Something great that I’ve just realized in the last few years is that there is no social hierarchy among 5-year-olds. Everyone plays with anyone, no matter who. All the pressure of grades and performing well and obsessing over what you wear weren’t there. You weren’t judged by how well you dressed, you were judged by how well you could stack blocks.


The reason I am writing this is because I think more teachers could do more to be like Jane. She turned class into something everyone craved, especially nap time. You didn’t come to school on a Monday wondering what awful assignment you were going to get, but when you could play with one of the guinea pigs. You actually got to take them home once in the year which was amazing. That craving made you love learning too. She was the kind of teacher who would turn a blind eye if you accidentally kicked a ball through her open window from the playground. Back when learning consisted of building legos and organizing shapes, it was a lot easier to be who you are and have fun.