A child says, "If you take off your glasses, you won't be you." So I ask, "What makes me me?"

Image credit: Mrs. Barrett, by Zachary, about 6 years young

I ask the children in a primary class, "What makes you you?"

I was curious about their thought process because earlier a child noticed my glasses and said, "If you take off your glasses, you won't be you." So I shared this comment with a small group of children and ask, "Do my glasses make me me?"

"No!" they exclaim.

"Doing the stuff you do makes you you," says a child.

"Hmmm," I say. "So, if I'm not doing anything and in the hospital sick, am I me?" I ask.

"You're you," says a child.

"Your hair makes you you," says another child.

"If I cut my hair, then I'm not me?"

"No! You're you because you're smart," someone offers.

"So, if I'm not smart about something, I'm not me," I wonder out loud.

"No, you're you because you like scientific stuff!"

"I do like science. Am I me if I don't like science but instead like roller skating?" I wonder out loud.

"Yes, you're you," the children cry.

"You're you because you have a brain."

There's a pause and some squirming. It looks like the children are losing interest. And then a child says, "I know what makes me me. The trueness of my heart."

(A circle conversation, posted 11/16/09; Dublin Montessori Academy, Dublin, Ohio USA)