“David, will you help me build a house?,” CS petitioned, collected some connecting sticks and spheres nearby. “Sure! As soon as I’m done helping JA, I’ll help you!”
“Cody, I am building a house!,” says JA, with a bright smile across his face.
“I see that, JA! You look like you feel excited about it,” I reply.
“Yeah, and David is helping me!,” he says, while admiring the beginnings of CS’s house adjacent to him.
Episodes such as this one have been scattered throughout the past three weeks, ever since we have moved from the Infant House. This is not a little transition, and it comes with not a little grief. To lose the habitation of one’s environment, one which you spend some 25-35 hours a week, only to inhabit a new environment, devoid of many of the relationships you’ve cherished, requires a great deal of energy.
In the midst of this heavy load, children often return to the adults around them for safety, comfort, and play. Whereas they normally would interact a lot more with one another and provide one another with provocations, their attention turns to their caregivers, who represent strong pillars of their mental and emotional worlds. In essence, when confronted with loss and the unknown, children return to what is most known, most consistent, most reliable- adults.
This return has been evident over the past few weeks, as I have noticed a steady increase in how often teachers are invited into play, when their peers may have served that role before. Within such a dynamic, teachers find more opportunity to scaffold learning as they co-construct ideas with the children more closely. What that has looked like are guided reflections on the learning that has taken place (by looking at videos and pictures, along with sharing anecdotes), but it has also looked like research, as we explore ideas that we have not yet thought through.
All of those instances provide fertile ground for adult-child scaffolding to happen. Sometimes you need scaffolding to construct something new, and sometimes you need it to return to something familiar. Either way, construction happens, and as a result, emerging understandings come to fruition. They are such resilient learners!