Candice, the principal at In His Footsteps, and I had a great conversation about the universal light in children. Just watching children’s minds work though challenges that are HUGE in their world. It is amazing to see them overcome those things and continue on without holding a grudge or animosity towards another, as if it never happened. We were talking about how important it is to study the children we work with. They give us the knowledge on how to interact with them and understand their strengths. Their strengths that actually help us in the classroom. She mentioned one student who was very good about reminding her about the routine. Or another student who was ready to help her bring the bowls back to the kitchen after breakfast. Children are the glimpse into our most pure state of humanity. They hold the same organic qualities regardless if you are in a classroom in San Francisco or in a community in South Africa. It really is simple: express your feelings, work though them, and continue on with love.
As I was standing back and observing the children during outside free play, I had a little bit of an “ah-ha” moment where I really felt the beauty of the work we do, myself and all teachers in the world. It is that wonderful curiosity and pure expression of love that happens during learning. When a child is simply engaging with their environment, they are unknowingly gaining context for the world. When the teacher steps in with intention, there can be opportunities to piece the child’s context together.
I spent one morning outside with a group of children in a sand pit. It was decided we were in a taxi (with 3 drivers), driving to the grocery store. When we got to the store they told me to get out to “fetch another taxi” because I wanted to go to the beach. When my new taxi arrived we drove to the beach and all of the drivers were yelling at me to get out of the taxi. I asked them if they wanted to tell me about the beach because I had never been there before. All at once they began naming the things they have seen at their trips to the beach (Vrygrond is very close to the beach). I heard them telling me about the seagulls, and the colorful changing rooms on the sand. They gave me a demonstration of how sharks like to use their teeth to eat fish. The beauty in this taxi ride was that there were children who are normally in their own space of play, sometimes due to language barriers, joining the conversation. After I got out of the taxi, the children who were keeping to themselves were inside the taxi! (This time heading back to the grocery store)