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St ives Preschool

United States | General information | Popularity - 0/10
This has been a massive week at Handprints ELC, where I found myself reflecting on this concept of wonder. There are so many moments of wonder in our everyday life, but as adults, we are caught in the rush and we are missing the opportunities to slow down and be in the world. Our world in an interesting, amazing and miraculous place. We need to wonder to make decisions, we need to wonder to find enjoyment and we need to wonder to reflect.
For children, wonder comes easily. The wonder and question the world constantly. “I wonder if this rock is heavy, I wonder what makes the wind, I wonder where rainbows end, I wonder…” And in searching for answers they are engaged in deep and meaningful learning where they are encouraged to be inquisitive, to share the joys of the natural world, to create new understandings and extensions of learning. St ives Preschool
Somewhere along the line, we stop celebrating these moments of unknown and it becomes more complex, but why? We should not perceive ourselves to be all knowing, but to be all curious. As an educator, I want to reflect and understand every aspect of my experience through wondering. I want to celebrate what I do not know, and I want to constantly look for extensions of my own learning and my own experience.
This has been a huge part of the interview process at Handprints ELC. And it has been a wonderful opportunity to learn what other educators understand of the concept of wondering, but also to gain insight into what they would like to learn about or know more about throughout their practice with children.
Throughout the early process of finding educators who share a passion for using wonder for professional growth, questions have come up such as:
“I wonder how children feel about the change of seasons”
“I wonder how I could vary the questions I ask, to assure questioning is used to extend children’s thinking”
“I wonder how I could facilitate awe and wonder in other educators”
“I wonder how to prevent the administrative burden from allowing educators to share the moments of joy and learning with families”
“I wonder how I could vary my use of teaching strategies to more effectively contribute to the learning of every individual child”
“I wonder what it is about an adult that encourages a child in a nursery room to build a trustworthy relationship”
These questions are fantastic. They demonstrate that we as adults have not lost the ability to wonder; and more so that we can use our wonderings to increase our understandings and to better our practice.
One of my goals for Handprints ELC will be to work constantly on professional inquiry projects as a team. That everyone will contribute to researching and building understandings about these questions of wonder, and the practices of Handprints educators will reflect a philosophy of wonder, of being curious, wanting to know more and contributing to finding answers.
Similarly, the children will be encouraged to wonder. During one of the interviews, a potential Handprints ELC teacher turned to me and mentioned how she wants to assure learning never becomes routine. The first time a child sits is a moment to celebrate, to join with them in that amazing moment of “I wonder how I did that” and celebrate the achievements every day. We may have seen a child sit before, but for that child this is a huge moment in their short lives. We may have experienced and understood rain or wind through years of experience, but for children these are moments to get down next to them, close your eyes and feel what they feel. Share in the excitement of these moments of wonder. Go back in time to celebrate them again. St ives Childcare
The article I have linked above was given to me during that interview. I read it enthusiastically as Dr Brenda Abbey explores how adults can promote awe and wonder in children. I felt excited that in this current age of education, we are revisiting the feelings we all experienced in childhood in order to effectively promote wonder, curiousity and questioning from our children.
This week, I resigned from my current teaching position at Campus Life Macquarie University where I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing and being involved in projects based on wonder. I am preparing over the next four weeks to say goodbye to a group of wondrous four year olds, who sit with me in our playground and wonder about the clouds, who recently wondered enough about the idea of wasting water for us to embark on a detailed journey of exploration that has led to a more sustainable future generation, who wondered whether sound created movement sending us into a flurry of experimentation.
However, with every goodbye we say hello. This week at Handprints I met many possible educators who will shape the face of our team, who will embark in this journey by my side; I saw the building progress as we get closer and closer to finishing; I was in contact with the people who will make the recycled timber tables and chairs our children will sit in each day; I was contacted and in contact with many families, learning about young children who may one day be the ones who come up with the ideas, the questions, the wonderings that we will turn into learning stories for our young ones who at Handprints will develop their lifelong love of learning.
So a week of excitement, of wondering about the future and of planning each next step. I highly encourage any adult who spends time with small children (parent, grandparent, friend or educator) to read the article linked above. We need to focus on the moments of togetherness, or wondering within our relationships and enjoying those moments of being. I wonder what moments you will experience with young children!
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