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AN ETHIC OF EXCELLENCE: Revealed through a Prekindergarten Child’s Words

As Interactive Learning Centres were taking place, a small group of children embarked on reflections and drawings in their journals. They pondered as to what they would draw, and how they should use ‘real colours’. M.H. shared his journal drawing with me and stated, “I made a dolphin, swimming in water.” I asked him about his picture, and he gazed deeply at his drawing and shared:

“I see lots of scribbles, but I don’t know how to draw a dolphin. I think…I think… I need a model.”After searching in the closet for a book on dolphins, M.H. found it difficult to find the ‘perfect model to use.’  “These books are not of real dolphins. I think I can Google a dolphin.”Once he sifted through photographs from Google, and one was chosen, he returned to complete his second drawing. He looked back and forth, at his model, concentrating, choosing colours intentionally, determined while he sketched. Once finished he shouted with such pride and excitement, “I did it, look at my dolphin swimming in the water.”

It is easy to assume that very young children would not understand a concept such as ‘An Ethic of Excellence.’  Here M.H. reveals to us all, that indeed they do.“I believe that work of excellence is transformational. Once a student sees that he or she is capable of excellence, that student is never quite the same.”  (From An Ethic of Excellence, Ron Berger.)


  • Ms. Bei, Grade 6 Teacher

    What a learning moment for all of us! Thank you for sharing. A great reminder of how capable our students are, and the potential in all of them for excellence.

  • Mrs. Oliveira, Head of School

    Kudos to one of our youngest Richlander in embracing and demonstrating the Ethic of Excellence in his work. If we believe that children are capable and competent, anything is possible.

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