2nd blog post, I guess this is a sign of how busy it gets working with children. Five years deep into working at Sweet Pea. Each year is different, and each year I learn something new. This fifth year has been uniquely challenging (in a good way) for me. I find myself repeating to myself (As I do to the children) the areas that are hard and out of our comfort zone are the areas that we are growing in. One thing in particular that has been challenging, is the subject of who’s right and who’s wrong. We find that our daily activities and adventures set the stage for presenting a “handful” of problems. Children at the preschool age, in particular, are not as always “skilled” or “equipped” to successfully handle certain problems. These could extend to areas as little as how to properly play with a stick, to who had the shovel first. We find on adventures problems being presented as to “how do we safely cross this log”, or “is the ice stable enough for us to walk on”, and “if we get our boots wet will our feet feel happy later on today”. These are just a few examples of problem-solving that we touch on at school each day, and seriously, I mean seriously the list could go on and on. As a teacher you are constantly guiding with language, example, and contemplating on do we allow a natural consequence to happen or do we step in at this point. We do this based upon safety and growth. We teach the children problem-solving skills in hope that one day they will successfully be able to problem-solve in a healthy way. Beyond everything we teach, kindness and problem-solving are two of our underlining themes. I can’t help but feel a little defeated when I head out into the real world and see adults who choose to not solve problems in a healthy manner (being a matter of my perspective). I guess it’s true what they say, “everything you need to know you learned in preschool.” This is where I start to remember that word “growth”. Things that are out of our comfort, that are challenging for us. Walking around in nature “literally” all day you stop and observe the little things. Tracks that lead into a den. Nests that have been hiding behind leaves all summer, and now they present themselves to you on these crisp winter days. A young aspen tree that has been rubbed by a buck’s antlers, but over time has covered and healed it’s wound. Of course the winters in the northwest Rockies can be harsh, and not only does it make for a more challenging year being an “outdoor school”, but for nature itself. Patience… Patience with teaching and guiding children, patients with the adults in the world (who we may not always see eye to eye with), and something that we all need and learn is patience with ourselves. We can solve these problems with a little kindness and patience, and then we will have growth and that is always an amazing thing! Here’s to a patient winter~
“Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Happy Holidays Everyone!