Monday, January 14, 2013

The Joy of Being With Preschoolers

I just recently took a vacation and I went to the beautiful island of Maui. As I was watching my niece play on the beach, I was in a state of complete awe. Her joyfulness in the simplicity of the beach, reminded me of why I love what I do. She dug her toes into the wet sand, smiling as she felt the soft grains squish between her toes. She ran up and down the beach, laughing as she fell head first into an endless mound of dry sand. She watched closely and intently at the ever-rolling sea as the waves crashed in and out. She screamed joyfully as the water came up to her knees and then receded back out again.

This is what working with children is all about. It is observing children finding joy in the simple, yet mystery-filled world. This can happen after struggle, during exploration, while seeing something for the first time, or while taking something in with one's whole body.

Within the last couple of months, we have had several new children start at TPH. Watching them explore their new surroundings and try out things for the first time is the best part of just being with children.

It is the joy and proud-filled look in their faces after accomplishing something for the first time.
M and O looking proudly out the windows after climbing up the structure for the first time.

It is the look of wonder at seeing something for the first time and trying to figure out how it works.
THS concentrating while stretching a rubber band while trying to place it on the geoboard

It is exploring something for the umpteenth time with as much determination as the first time it was explored.

It is being explosive with excitement and then at peace with the world around.

Getting to watch our newest preschoolers, THS, M, and O explore while getting used to their surroundings has been magical. I am looking forward to continuing to observe them and getting to know each of them better while they explore intensely and intently at TPH.

I feel lucky to be a teacher each day that I get to be with this group of preschoolers, new additions and veteran preschoolers alike. I am filled up each day because I get to watch curious, joyful, determined, fierce, and calm, explorers. I am never bored or looking for something to do. I get to observe and be a part of the wonderment of new and old explorations. That is what joy is for me.


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