As an Early Childhood professional, I see many children. Sometimes they say things that I think I understand, only to learn that I was way off base. Recently a child came to the library and wanted to find a book about the president. I know that many people would walk over to the 900’s and figure out if the child wanted a biography or something about a time period. I asked, “I might make a mistake. Can you tell me, what’s a president?”
This child told me about Lincoln. He told me about “the president who makes people houses,” probably Carter. I asked him if he had a specific president he wanted to know about, wracking my brain for a good 2nd grade reading level book.
I was in luck. This child wants to grow up to be president. His parents were born in India, and he was born in the United States. “So I can be president,” he said. We looked through “So You Want to Be President” together, but he felt it was cartoon-ey. He wanted a real book and was making a serious effort to learn.
We decided that a good biography just above his reading level, but with many pictures would be good. To that I asked if he’d like to read “Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome,” since it has so much good advice on how to talk to many different people. My student got that. He understood that presidents have meetings and talk to people.
Now I know what a president is, and I really hope that someday my small friend grows up to be one.