Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tuesday SOL: What do adults do during centers?

This is a Tuesday Slice of Life for Two Writing Teachers
Check out their website for many more reflections on teaching.


My dream:

The room is rich with materials, and these are open-ended in their use -
blocks of all sizes, used in building and make-believe,
art areas with possibility - so much paint and glue and paper and cardboard and tape and clay (with a sink nearby, making cleanup easy)
dramatic play centers rich with costumes, fabric, dishes, babies, more,
a science area with things to measure and mix, things to observe and hold,
books, books, books, and
tools for writing - paper, clipboards, pencils, markers, crayons.

Children are settled, engaged, wondering.
There is a fabulous hum in the room.

How do we foster this palpable learning?

It is the adults in the room.
Adults throughout the room,
working alongside small groups of children,
nudging, nurturing, negotiating, narrowing, noticing.

"Guiding on the side."

Children initiate the play,
adults build on it.

The adults listen for children's questions,
observe their curiosity, and
find ways to extend the learning.

The adults
deepen the language and conversations,
grow the focus and engagement,
expand and instigate the play.

The adults
help students to join in,
offer support in solving conflicts,
shine a light on the possibilities of friendship and teamwork.

When the guiding is right,
children are settled, engaged, wondering.
There is a fabulous hum in the room.
And the adults are making plans about how to build on this fun tomorrow.

It's the beginning of the school year and we are working our way towards this dream.

I forget how unique this adult role is for new teachers,
how unsure one feels without a script,
how uncomfortable it is to learn to watch,
how hard it is to build on students' choices,
how challenging it is to know, show, do
what you have never experienced.

Slowly but surely,
we will work our way towards this dream.

1 comment:

  1. Maureen,
    What an insightful blog post. I hope many teachers of young children come across it. I love your poetic writing style!
    The statement, "There is a fabulous hum in the room" really resonated with me. It's amazing to stand back for just a moment and really take in what is happening in the classroom. We rarely step back and just take in the wonders of the interaction, the wonders of the hum!