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11. If I tell the kids something they don’t want to do = I am mean

brandon-morgan-16639Belief: If I tell the kids something they don’t want to do = I am mean

Context: Telling the kids they have to clean up after themselves from the items/they took out for themselves, especially when it’s ”crunch time” and we need to be somewhere soon. From them there is resistance, temper tantrums, avoidances, and big ”no!”s I think/believe I am not a nice person (but mean) if I tell them to do something they don’t want to do. Yet these kids needs to be aware of our schedule, that at a certain time of day we have to clean up everything to move onto the next thing in our schedule effectively.

Additional note: Perhaps the kids don’t know or realize the responsibility, reasons/purpose as to why we need to clean up.  Even if they do realize/see, and still fight/resist cleaning up they have to do. These kids are placed in an environment by/through the parents and are given no choice about it. That means they also have to follow the rules of this environment, but if the rules are in alignment with what is best for all – then it’s a great training ground for them to practice living with others effectively.

Self-Forgiveness: 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that if I tell kids to do something they don’t want to do then I am mean

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that when a kid doesn’t want to do something – such as cleaning up after themselves it means I am a mean teacher instead of realizing the child resisting the task has nothing to do with me but the relationship the child has formed toward the task and thus it is part of my responsibility to work with the child in having them release the resistance they have formed with/toward the task

I commit myself to find ways/means/methods to support children through resistances they have towards tasks, such as cleaning up after themselves so that they can find joy in everything they do

I forgive myself that I have NOT accepted and allowed myself to clarify with the children why we need to clean up – why it benefits all of us on an individual and collective level, illustrating through words or pictures the value and benefits of taking responsibility and putting back/cleaning up what you use has on a person in the long-run

I commit myself to educate, share and explain the benefits and importance of taking care of what we use and putting it away/cleaning it up properly

I commit myself to live the word CARE for my environment – caring for the items in my home and environment by taking care of them properly

I forgive myself that I have NOT accepted and allowed myself to find ways to make cleaning up fun for the children – such as putting on music, or making a game, or picking the jobs out of a hat, or having us live a word like ”Slowing Down” with cleaning where our movements are slow…using various ways and methods to be creative in the moment with what we do and not just stay limited in cleaning up/doing a task one way

I commit myself to make chores/errands in my life more enjoyable by listening to music, or finding some other creative method to enjoy what I’m doing more

I commit myself to make clean up time fun/enjoyable for the kids by putting on music, having us live a word, making a game out of it

I commit myself to educate the kids on why we need to clean up at a certain time, and what are the consequences if we don’t clean up at a certain time

Within this I realize just because kids don’t like something I say doesn’t mean I am a mean person or certain person but that there is a negative relationship they have towards the task/what I just said.  It’s also important I check in me to see if I have any resistance to doing tasks, and to make sure when there is resistance I sort it out or push through it, because if I allow resistance in me with doing tasks and don’t do them, how can I support children through it?

 

Additional Support:

Parenting – Perfecting the Human Race

Extraordinary Parenting: Leila Zamora Moreno

Teacher’s Journey to Life with Anna Brix Thomsen

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7. How Not to be a Killjoy

photo-1437955010382-7b8721d5c977Killy joy: A person who spoils the enjoyment of others

In the kindergarten I work at, it is difficult for children to go outside of the box and use the classroom materials for their own exploration and creativity (unless it’s painting or drawing, but even within that there are certain rules such as not drawing on the table/easel).  The reason for this is because the materials we have are specifically designed for a child to use them a certain way. Even simple tasks like cleaning an orange press, we as teachers have these steps to show them.

When things get out of hand, meaning, when the child does not do what we asked or showed them to do, we tend to reprimand them – sometimes with a scowl, or a frown, sometimes changing our voice tonality to match the disapproval or even judging and shouting at them for what they’ve done.

But have we ever stepped back and just observed what they did? To see if whether that moment with the child was an expression of their own creativity and going outside the box?

Take for example these real situations that happened in my classroom:

  1. Two boys were washing glasses, and one of the boys decided to put water in his hair. The other boy saw how it changed the shape of the boys hair, so helped shape the hair into a style. Laughing, they played with the boy’s hair.
  2. A child sees himself in a mirror and starts dancing, doing cartwheels, watching himself perform tricks.
  3. A child (instead of washing the juicing equipment) set the equipment up in the sink in a way where when he turns on the water, the water goes through the equipment, creating a new structure for water to go into the sink. He called other children to see his invention.

How did we as teachers respond?  Basically what you would expect – a lot of no’s and stop that’s, telling what the child should do next.

When we adults/teachers see these sort of things, we tend to immediately think they are rebelling against the classroom rules, and we react, stop them, and/or tear them away from the situation. We don’t and cannot take that step back to see the natural creativity that came forth because is not within school rules and we don’t have time to look deeper. We got 20+ kids to manage! How do we even have time to look at the potentials and strengths of the child?

In creative – out of box situations like these, children are not deliberately rebelling from us/classroom rules but actually forget about the rules because they get so caught up in the moment, engaged in a new approach/way of working with something and just go for it — using the opportunity to try it out. The new moment of creation for children is more important than the old classroom rules/what they are ’suppose’’ to do, because it’s new and that process is fun for them. Though a point to mention is yes, sometimes their creations may create outflows that will disrupt the flow of the classroom environment (such as a child gets excited about what they discover and get the other children excited and classroom work is disrupted).

BUT – How many times do we as adults have an idea on something to try out/do and just go for it? Not so many… we tend to hold back and don’t go forward with things because we allow thoughts and memories of past failures limit us from just TESTING and SEEING what is possible…

I’d say, children are naturally creative in that they can make new things out of something we as adults think are used/meant for one purpose. The problem is when our way of thinking get in the way of child’s natural creativity and we become these authority figures that stop or ‘kill’’ the joy and opportunity for the child to continue exploring this new way of using the material.

I’ve been seeing these moments of creativity in children more and more when I’m around them, where they will use classroom materials in ways not meant to be used according to what we as teachers want, and — as much as I want to allow them to continue — I cannot , due to my job position, which is why I am currently trying to find ways where I can direct the child to perhaps continue this sort of exploration/creativity in another environment.

For example, I told V, this one child who placed a cup over the faucet to watch how the water came out that perhaps he can do this at home, but not here in the kindergarten. So I in a way approached it (as best I could) gently, communicating that this type of creativity may be possible in the home environment, but not here. Even writing this now, I  could have specified my approach by re-iterating the procedure on how we wash glasses in the kindergarten, and that there may be different procedures at home so ask your mom and dad if it’s ok to do this…

The problem is, with managing 20+ children in a classroom, staff members cannot actually allow children to freely express and test things out for themselves unconditionally, because they are in a confined environment with items/materials and thus rules need to be applied – however, are these rules in the best interest of children, where their mind, being and body are taken in consideration? No way! We have for CENTURIES formed our classroom rules based on our (adult-teacher) preferences, likes and wants. No where do we take the children 100% into consideration.

I say, a major change needs to take place. We need to uproot the current education system, get to understand more of the child’s mind, being and body and see how we can shape and design the future for children.

The best resources to start is studying the Parenting Series (even if you are not a parent!) and walking your own understanding of how human consciousness works through DIP Lite.