There are moments when I get caught in the wave of paperwork, pedagogy, politics, and the many layers of things that come with working in education. But, if any of you are true early childhood educators at heart I remind you to get caught in the moment as you begin this year.
Get caught in play, laughter, discovery, and miracles. If my week was spent on rule making, bulletin boards, assessments, worksheets, and punching out Ellison machine shapes then I might as well give in and sink into the ocean, let the waves of all the other nonsense take me down to the deep bottom. Because that just isn’t who I am at heart. I don’t belong in classroom of straight lines in the hall and desks in the room. And I don’t believe that children do either.
Instead I believe in celebrating and exploring life, soaking in the sun while perched in a branch of a tree, finding joy in the simple things in life, and playing until your heart, body, and mind are full. These are the ways we create memories. These are the ways we grow as whole people. In today’s world we are focusing much on testing and excelling on the academic charts. But, I ask you: Do you want our children to score high today and be at the top of academic charts or do you want our children to learn and grow into loving, thoughtful, independent, creative, and innovative human beings for the rest of their days on this beautiful earth. I know which I want. And I know that they need many days of a protected playful childhood to get there.
Take the world in through the eyes of a child…
take in the miracles of nature and simple joys of life while watching the story of a monarch unfold from egg to caterpillar,
(yes!!! we watched the Monarch actually lay the egg! What an amazing life moment! Too much in awe to snap the shot!)
become pals with four legged friends and care for them with gentle hands and open hearts,
feast on the gifts of gardens and local crops, discover (or let a friend teach you) the simple tricks of tasting new things (pressing your finger in the center of a clementine to peel it), commune with friends,