In this Voices Inside Schools essay, Vivian Gussin Paley brings us into Derek's kindergarten classroom using her characteristic style of listening and recounting from the child's perspective. With delicacy and insight, she reveals the small but significant moments that occur alongside the planned curriculum to illustrate how children author their own narratives and come to each other's rescue. In this essay, Paley's ability to attend to what emerges in the spaces between academic activities offers ways for teachers to get to know children as they see themselves. Paley demonstrates how,through storytelling and dramatic play, children author narratives of confidence and capability, seeing themselves as powerful and whole.

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