Dirt arrived for the garden boxes at the Preschool House! When I got there, some children were digging holes as Fairy Homes into the sides of the pile. Others were climbing on top of it. And many had a great deal of ownership over getting dirt into the boxes. Everyone chose their own task (though often peers elicited help from each other or invited each other into imaginary games). Below is a video highlighting the ebb and flow of the work of a group of children interested in transferring dirt into a box:
I enjoyed observing their hard work. What a feat! To be able to observe--available but not intervening, enjoying without affecting, supporting without interrupting--is a magical experience for me. In addition to highlighting the stellar work of the teachers to set up an environment (both physically and emotionally) that supports collaborative, focused work, it shines a light on the incredible processing of each child.
We like to write about Basic Trust. It seems to underlie everything we do and is a core component of how we view children. For me, even moments like this--moments that are simple and beautiful and calm--are an opportunity to use my entire body to send messages to the children about this vision: I trust you; I am interested in what you're doing and enjoy watching you work; I value your interpretation of how to do this; You are competent and capable. Viewing children in this way empowers them and opens the door for increasingly more intense and beautiful work.
Watch out world. These children are changing you.
They are certainly changing me.
And they can change you too. Just watch. Just try to really, really see them. Sure, step in if you're invited, but if you're not, don't be offended, don't think you need to do something, don't multitask... Just BE. Just watch. Just see.
They'll blow your mind. I promise.