Friday, November 29, 2013

The First Signs of Winter!

Although I don't welcome Winter as I would a long lost friend, I take comfort in the exceptional experiences that the children engage in during this season. A light dusting of snow in the playground, prompted these boys to make the first snowman of winter.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Provocation, coming from the verb to provoke, meaning to stir up, arouse or call forth feelings, desires, or activity; to incite or stimulate to action; to give rise to, induce, or bring about.  When we intentionally prepare invitations for children we should ask ourselves, what could possibly result from such enticements?
It is here, in the children’s response to the provocations that we begin to gauge their thoughts, theories and understanding. It is here that we formulate questions and negotiate learning.

An invitation to explore leaves becomes much more when it is presented in this context!
I think of a provocation as a beautifully set dinner table. Consider how you feel when you walk into a dining room illuminated by soft candles, with a table dressed in fine china and a beautiful center piece.
The same can be said for thoughtful provocations.

We seek to lure the children to explore so we must be mindful, creative and fresh in our enticements.
This requires teachers to be constant researchers and "seekers".

Monday, November 4, 2013

Every Child Is Someone's Precious!

I became an Early Childhood educator at the age of 21, fueled with a deep love of children and respect for the educational process. When I became a mother I saw children through different eyes. I became more patient, kinder, and empathetic to the process parents undergo when they  let go.
Every child is someone's precious.  As teachers we should always keep this thought close to our hearts.
I am grateful for the wonderful journey of motherhood that I share with my three exceptional children. It is because of them that I have remained committed to excellence in my profession. They did not always have the kindest of teachers. Many left them with scars; perhaps feeling less than worthy. But there were a few exceptional teachers who nurtured their souls as well as their minds. They are the ones whom my children still remember with fondness.

Here are my thoughts for today as I post not only as a teacher, but also as a mother.

My son Daniel and my niece Marlow
My daughter Liana and son Matthew
 Our children don't stay little forever.

Now that mine are adults I often find myself wishing for the days filled with rambunctious play, chocolate chip cookies and milk, bedtime stories, Disneyland....
There was never enough time.
What would I say to a young mother if she asked for my advice?
Savor every moment. Even when you are exhausted from a long day of work, give up that extra hug, read their favorite book just one more time before you turn out the lights, go to the park instead of doing an extra load of laundry, laugh at the silly things they do. Know that you children will make endless mistakes and don't get angry. Reassure them. Let that know you will always be there to catch them when they fall.
Don't let anyone make your children feel bad about themselves. It is your responsibility to protect them as much as you can but not to shelter them from all of life's happenings. Rest assured that there will be many people in their lives who will hurt them and not always be kind. Support them as best you can so they do not become jaded. As difficult as it is to watch, these will be the things that will define them.
Teach them life skills; cooking, cleaning and laundry, grocery shopping, they will need to know how to do these things when they leave home. Make family time important; visiting grandparents, Sunday lunches, birthdays, dinner time, breakfast before school. They need to belong and honor traditions.
Teach them to have faith in something bigger than themselves, to respect others and the natural world.
Teach them generosity and gratitude. They are not entitled to everything and they need to know that most things must be earned in life.
Teach them humility and humanity.
Above all else give them the gifts of your time, unconditional love and respect.

And know that undoubtedly you will make many mistakes and that's okay.