Getting Back on the Bike

Moments like these ones are what has drawn me back to early childhood education over and over again.  I could stop him and show him how to use watercolors (water, color, paper....water, color, paper...) but that is not the work he is doing.  A sat down at the table, picked up a brush, and systematically touched every color, by row, washing his brush in between.  His work was a system, a routine, an exploration.

The past three weeks have been a whirlwind in the classroom.  I went from teaching the elementary school students to the preschoolers in the course of a short conversation, and that transition took a weight off my shoulders.  But creating a classroom community with the preschool group is proving to be more challenging because they had two weeks without routine, boundaries, or expectations. I am working in an environment where children's voices are respected and heard, and it was difficult to hear anything but chaos for the first few days.  I took this video of A on the very first day that I began in the preschool, after I had created a separate space for them.  All of the children needed some more direction, the right materials, and engaging prompts.  I hope that is what I have offered them in the past three weeks, and will continue to do in the coming months.

I feel like the class has gotten into a rhythm with the space and the materials.  We are constantly solving conflicts, but that is to be expected, and it is a large part of our work.  My next personal goal is finding an area of interest to the group and beginning to hone in on the possibilities for a project/exploration.  This is a bit like getting back on a bike after a long period of not riding: I know I can do it, but I'm a bit scared.  

How was the first month of school for you?