Thursday, August 14, 2014

Don't Be a Crab Apple.

As a preschool teacher I feel it is very important to remember to ask myself

"Why not?"

It took me several years to feel confident in stretching my thinking and questioning the rules that sometimes seem necessary. 

One of my first mentors taught me to question the "down the slide" rule. Why? or Why not go up the down slide? In my opinion every situation is unique with different children, different teachers, different equipment and all of this needs to be taken into consideration when exploring rules. 

Part of being a teacher is learning. It is not uncommon that I make up a rule that I instantly regret. I start second guessing. It is important for us as teachers (and parents) to question ourselves. We need to talk with other teachers and also with the children to figure out WHY?

A Crab Apple.

We have three apple trees on our property. One grows big yummy apples that we use to make applesauce. There are two other trees that grow crab apples. 

There was a problem this year with picking the apples. I'm not sure whose problem it was. Mostly mine I guess. 

I was trying to help them understand that the apples wouldn't be able to grow big and juicy if we kept picking them. We needed to let them grow so that we could eat them later. 

I was conflicted between:

"This is their space, let them explore."
"These trees work hard to produce these apples and we need to respect nature and not be wasteful."

It is always feels like the old cartoons with the mini-characters on each shoulder. 
You know the ones.

After two weeks of constant reminders and questioning myself, I decided to have a meeting with them about the apples. Now that the apples had grown bigger I showed them how one tree had bigger apples and the other two had small apples. 

I told them that since we would never be able eat the little apples they could pick them to play with, but not to eat. After a little bit of groaning I let them all take a bite of the tiny sour apples and they agreed to the deal. Finally everybody was happy.

Why not.

Getting Our Feet Wet.

This morning a giant puddle had appeared on our playground that 
we hadn't seen since "Crocodile River."

Off came the shoes. Why not?

Many of the kids were wearing pants. I helped them roll them up, but it was obvious everybody was going to need to change when we got inside. 

The next thing I knew they were adding the apples to puddle. 

I couldn't help but smile and once again I was confident that this was their playground not mine. 

Here is another post that I just dug up about asking myself  

Check out the Outdoor Play Party at Mud Mud Marvellous Mud for more posts about outdoor fun.