Thursday, June 26, 2014

The power to give and take away..

This is the real secret of life, to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. -Alan Watts

As our skies begin to clear and we can once again feel that warmth the sun brings, a bounty of excited energy has bloomed as well.  Often this energy is channeled through expanded outside play and small groups activities but sometimes it is difficult for children to handle and therefore we have experienced a lot more bumps, falls, broken plants, etc then usual. So many emotions come up when this excited energy overwelms that we as teachers need to reflect and develop new ideas to channel this behavior.

One idea that came up was why feelings are so hard to talk about. This descriptive cycle seemed perfectly synomomous with our current situation.

"Frustration leads to a destructive behavior, which leads to Sadness and Embarrassment, which leads to concern, which leads to understanding, which leads to Love." ("Oh to feel")
We see this cycle play out again and again.

Lately I've noticed children go through part of this cycle but forget how to move past embarassment. We encourage every child to talk and offer solutions verbally so that they can express needs and feelings in a safe way.

When a child feels the need to destroy a block structure by throwing blocks, how can they alter this impulse and express their frustration in a cathargic way?  It is our innate human condition to need understanding and acceptance even from the very beginning. Even as a child grows and becomes more confident they are still struggling to attain these two needs on a daily basis.

I wonder if outlets can be taught to children to use as tools when they know they are feeling unsafe in their energy.

Just as we have beautified our yard and gardens we have also refreshed our play opportunities in the yard and this has created the challenge of caring for our yard and keeping it beautiful. Just this week a couple of our children were busy picking dandy lions and eating the leaves. This quickly turned into pulling out our flowers as well as whole plants as if this game of destruction needed to escalate.

T said, "Well V was pulling them first".  V said, "I was just getting flowers".

This seems to be the first excuse for explaining why a destructive act just took place. Someone always seems to be pulling a flower or plant first. The passing of the blame also does not need to include order such as "AZ was doing it". The energy has manifested itself in no greater place then in using patience. What is patience? Many of our children dont have a clear grasp of how to be Patient.  I offered a suggestion to get the gears going.

                "Could caring for the plants especially just the little vegetables be patience?" 

Many of the children seemed to agree and began to offer there own ideas. "Waiting for the swing" shouted M. "The stairs" followed T. When we want to go up or down the stairs from the tower sometimes there is someone on them. After some clarification we all agreed being patient is caring for people and things abound you and using words to show that.

After asking all our class how we can show patience to people and things around us we worked out that it would hurt the plants if we just pulled off leaves or vegetables whenever we wanted to. We decided it was not nice to our school or other Tumbleweeder's to take away things whenever we wanted them and if we just cared for everything around us we can give so much more joy and beauty to not only ourselves but others.

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