Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Spontaneous Circle

This morning while we were outside, I walked toward the gazebo to let everyone know it was time to start cleaning up. As I was about to make the announcement, I noticed a group of preschoolers sitting in a circle outside of the gazebo on the concrete. They were focused. Although it was getting late and to keep on schedule we needed to get inside in the next couple of minutes, I did not say anything. Something important was happening. Something magical was happening. I needed to observe this moment without interruption. And more importantly, they needed the opportunity to finish their process without interruption. 

I first noticed each person's hands in the center of the circle, one on top of the other one. IR and EB were going around, letting each preschooler know when it was time for them to put their hands in the center. There was an order to it... a process.
As soon as everyone had their hands in the middle, each child in the circle raised their arms and hands high up in the air, cheering "Go team Tumbleweeds!"
They then did this again, taking time to get each hand in the right order and ending it with "Go team Tumbleweeds!"
IR then said "Okay guys, what are we going to do? Talk!" And this is what happened next:

 While witnessing and filming this beautiful moment, I became teary. I was completely blown away by this spontaneous circle that was unfolding in front of me. IR took the initiative to lead the circle, coming up with a topic and making sure everyone had a turn to contribute.

This is how we do circles at Tumbleweeds. One teacher leads circle, starting with a song or some other known greeting and then we have a topic that we discuss as a group. Everyone has the opportunity to contribute and in turn a discussion occurs. IR did this. She led the greeting with EB and then brought up a topic to discuss with the group of preschoolers in the circle. 

This is what circle time is all about. It is about modeling and building relationships and about discussing interests as a group. It is about learning about each other and getting to know our similarities and differences. It is about building a community... a family. It is about our amazing group of Preschoolers feeling comfortable and safe with each other to be able to share their thoughts. It is about the process.

If I would have interrupted the circle outside, I would have missed something truly inspiring and the group would have missed out on this process of forming and exploring their own circle time. I got to witness this extraordinary moment. It was there, it was magical, it passed, and I will never forget it.


  1. I think the best thing about this moment that Bee captured was the insane day that everyone had, including myself. It was one of those days where everything was just kinda wild and crazy all day, and the more we tried to steer it in the 'right way' the more running, pushing, crying, power struggles there were.
    And here are the children, showing us what we really needed to do. Slow down, listen to each other, and then move on.
    Thanks guys!

    1. Geez, that definitely makes this even awesomer. Yes: awe-som-er.