Last year the stories of my preschool class often revolved around one particular boy – I called him my Pirate – because he and I were often on a gang plank together, holding safe space for each other in that precipice between the ship, (our classroom) and a vast ocean, (the world out there.)
This year, my pirate’s little brother is in my class. In fact, I have a lot of little brothers in my class and the Wendy in me is realizing this ship is occupied by Lost Boys this year; boys who need a captain, a Peter or a Wendy, but mostly, a mom. One thing they don’t need is Never Never Land.
Of course I sometimes wish there was a Crocodile loose on this ship, might help me tame the natives. It is enough to have his ticking clock constantly at my side. I have about 500 hours to be with these Boys and help them learn to stay in their prams. Going for a walk in a pram is way better than getting lost and finding yourself in a place with no future.
Putting together a slide show of pictures from a year with a class has got to be one of my most favorite – but incredibly time consuming – activities.
It is finally done and I can go to bed.
conversation with my 5 year old pirate today
You see that bird over there – the crow?
Crows are smart;
he will learn your face.
When you are out walking,
that crow will look down from a tree
and recognize you,
where ever you go..
walking around, walking around,
that crow will see,
you are you.
Just like me – next year and the next year,
I’ll see you walking around, walking around,
and I’ll know it’s You
and I’ll say “hi!”
background: we had some extraordinarily hot days last week – 84 in April in the Pacific Northwest, record breaking temperatures. Tar on our new playground got sticky and our custodial team decided to put sand on it hoping it would lessen it’s tackiness. Of course my students found their way there….
what is it about sand that compels us:
and tarry in
this most essential creation
of our universe?
I’ve been a preschool teacher for a long time and as long as I’ve been teaching there has always been the “gun” thing happening in my classroom. Preschool boys, not all, but most, like to build – and create – and pretend to shoot – guns. Often.
Of course I say the mantra “there are no guns at school,” but you know what! that is a ridiculous thing to say, because these kids just built them and are playing with them so – enough already! there are guns at school!
What I have found to be more effective – well, lets say more relative – is to talk with my students about their designs, asking how they work and what they are thinking about when they play out their scenarios. Because, after all, these are toys, folks. Just because a kid creates and plays with guns doesn’t mean he is thinking about shooting people. I’m sorry to say some of my students are allowed to play video games where they shoot at people but most of my students aren’t doing that at home, yet they still like to build guns and pretend to shoot and obliterate an enemy.
My students have created amazing Lego tanks and other types of armored vehicles and yet none of my Legos have any components that are meant to be guns or cannons. They have created block tanks and playdough fire arms. They have found many ways to configure all sorts of things into weapons that look like they would hurl projectiles. So I have to celebrate the visioning, engineering, and resourceful capabilities of these young designers.
My only caveat is that I request more “creation” than “destruction.”
4 years old
enters school with rocks in pocket
ends day by pulling class fish from same pocket
“but why does it need water?”
see yesterday for part 1
not Easter eggs,
my class needs something all together different this spring
palm sized fidgets.
8 cups of playdough
split into 16 balls
32 gloves, layered two together
32 rubber bands
Easter colored stress balls