"You can live life as if there are no miracles, or
you can live life as if everything is."
These first six weeks of school are, necessarily, focused on guiding children to understand the routines of school...and there is simply no end to all the small things that children must learn how to do in a preschool class. The more that they can fulfill these tasks and routines independently and/or automatically, the more their play will be rich and varied in the very near future.
It is life-giving for me, to mix a little magic in with the routines...to soften the 'work' of it, and to make these more fun. Otherwise, teaching routines would be dull, dull, dull. Children absorb the learning much more easily when there's a little silly or surprise to go along with it. Song provides a lot of magic, and I sing through many of our routines - gathering on the carpet, readying ourselves to listen to a book, and, even, singing 'baby sooooaaaap" to the tune of 'baby shark' as I remind them to take one squirt of soap when we are washing our hands.
This week I discovered a little bit of magic of the children's own making. When we wash our hands before snack and lunch, we line up one-by-one at the sink. This line, when the children initially line up, curves alongside the art table, past the easels, and around the back of the room - 22 preschoolers can make a long line! Well, lo and behold, in addition to singing as we wash our hands, these preschoolers have been making art at the easel (see the picture above). I was too focused on the hands at the sink to notice this fun sideline activity. Then, the hand-washing was complete, the children were happily seated at the lunch table, and I walked by the easel, and - whoa! What a surprise! I can't help but feel that these students will become strong academics in the near future - they have made great use of their time, throwing themselves into a creative task, together, as they wait their way through a drudgery of a task!