I've posted each day, first thing. Today, not so able!
I close my eyes and think,
What was good this week?
What surprised you with these little ones?
What haven't you shared?
Ah, I know!
A simple sign of growth.
My preschoolers arrived in August, wide-eyed, somewhat scared, many having their very first school experience, many barely three years old.
Simply unable to sit in a formal circle.
The concept of "gathering" every day as a whole group is so very foreign.
They were paired with a teacher who does not hold them to this expectation.
I have these fun little portable square mats/chair pads, we sing,
"find a square and sit right down, sit right down, sit right down, find a square and sit right down, we'll have gathering time."
And for months we've had a mass of bodies, a clump, children sitting where they are comfortable, as they like, as they are interested, at their own pace.
Every now and again, we had Gatherings where I placed the squares in a circle formation, and, invariably, things fell apart. Children leaping into the center of the circle or creating a second ring behind friends; children blocking one another's view, children wrestling; I heard my voice being more about how they were struggling in their seated positions rather than about the topic for which we were gathered. So, I knew, they weren't quite ready for the circle. We returned to sitting where we liked (or standing, if need be!).
This week, after several weeks of not trying, I tried again - I sang the same song, placing the squares in a circle, and everyone sat down.
I said, "Wow, look at this. We are in a circle. Can you see my eyes? I love the circle because I see everyone's eyes. We can see each other's eyes."
We tested whether or not this was true -
"Naia, can you see Sydney's eyes?" (across the circle)
"Ahmad, can you see Liam's?" (another direction in the circle)
"This is very special to me. Is this special to you? Think, we are all together, all seeing one another, so happy to be together, side by side, at Gathering."
We sang songs.
We had the class sharer of the day come to the center of the circle.
We got up on our feet and danced.
We sat back down and conversed.
We had an amazing time together at Gathering circle.
And it has been true on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, too.
Through this simple pleasure,
sitting together in a circle,
I see how much these children have grown.