My role as a teacher for this group of 8-10 month olds began before their first day at Tumbleweed as I prepared the space for the group. I thought about how I could provide an environment that would offer both comfort and stimulation, safety and challenge. I selected materials that felt likely to be interesting to this age of children, knowing that once I saw the children interact with the space I would revisit my choices bases on their interests and abilities. I read about infants, rereading old favorites and enjoying new sources of inspiration.
Each meal and snack takes a long time as this group of infants seems to love savoring their food. Observing them eating is a pleasure - witnessing the joy of ripe avocado, the appreciation for sweet cherries, and the determination with which an infant will try a piece of asparagus again and again, still not sure what to think of it.
We also move slowly from place to place and activity to activity. Following each child's interest and pace means that sometimes the journey from our room to the bathroom takes quite a while, as there are chairs, cabinets, and other kids to inspect along the way.
In some ways, though, time moves quickly in an infant room. The children come back from the weekend visibly taller, and having gained skills they didn't have three days ago. Belly-crawlers pull up to hands and knees, children pull up to standing while holding on to furniture, cups of water are handled with more and more precision.