By: Mariam Dbaibo

On Wednesday morning, March 18, 2020, my coworker and I rushed out of bed excitedly to enjoy our long-awaited day. We had breakfast, sipped our coffee, and enjoyed a warm talk about today’s schedule. We were extremely thrilled to meet our joyful children again even though on a ZOOM screen, as our life has turned into a loop of continuous virtual meetings.

Let me stop you for a little bit and tell you how much I missed each and every one of my 5-year-old students. How can I not when we used to have the best time ever?

The clock struck 4:00 PM and my heart started racing to see their faces through the screen. We laughed, we chuckled, we spent a great time; however, I felt that there was something missing; their 3D presence. While looking at their beautiful faces, I had lots of flashbacks that took me back in time to memories I reminisce about.

These memories took me to our school’s greenfield where we had our first picnic. They took me to our class, to the stairs, and to the school’s hallways where we danced to our favorite songs; where we celebrated major and minor events. It took me to places and other places, to days, to minutes, and to parts of seconds. These flashbacks took me to a nostalgic state; I remembered the slightest details that were taken for granted. I never knew physical spaces might mean that much, might hold such feelings, and might add so much to a person’s experience!

I went back in time to when I witnessed their curiosity crawling in every corner, when I wowed their creativity portrayed in their smiles, and when I touched their love in their dialogues.  

I can absolutely assure you that I’ve learned a million things at Al-Hayat International School. However, one aspect which highly contributed to my learning and helped in portraying my skills was my presence with the children I taught. I cherish the moments we had together, and I believe every one of them was a learning opportunity.

So here are a few things I was taught by children:

Children taught me to be my true self, express my emotions fearlessly, and put my insecurities away because they truly taught me that you can be whoever you want, act the way you want, and at any time you want.

Children showed me how to make a genuine choice, dig deeper into discovery, unleash the energy within you because this is how passionate you should be and how passion should lead the way.

Children paved the road for me to a carefree life with their confident bright smiles, pretty sparkly eyes, and bouncy messy hair. They always whisper in my ear: “Stop worrying.” They shout with certainty: “seize the moment.” We fly together to unbound glorious destinations.

Children reminded me to always forgive and that honesty is the language of a pure heart.

So, I learned that trying is merely enough and failure is not a word because next time when a tower of blocks falls apart, persistence is the only way up.

I learned to start living my day, to embrace the moment, and to stop worrying about tomorrow because beginnings start where you are at and every day is an opportunity.

At that moment, looking at the children’s colorful blooming faces, I realized that as Angela Schwindt said: “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

I realized that we, adults, rush and lose the sense of time in our daily hassles; however, children remind us to always have fun. Ask yourself, am I having fun?


For that, I blew off the dusty boxes, opened them, carried out my brush and my glittery pencils, and started painting. I took out the puzzle pieces, tried to put them together over and over again, and finally made a beautiful image that I hung in my living room. I turned on my favorite songs and wiggled freely to them as if there is nothing that can stop me.

There is so much you can learn from children. Have a close look at them while they play, while they speak, and while they sing. Embrace their eagerness, vigor, and happiness, and unleash the treasures hiding inside of you.

Finally, they say that a “teacher takes a hand, opens a heart, and touches a mind.” I say a child uncovers your eyes, draws a smile, and warms your heart.

Mariam Dbaibo – English Homeroom teacher at Al-Hayat International School.

BA – Elementary Education

TD in Math and Science Elementary Education

Minor in Psychology