Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Individual Connection

I've been struggling with my new group of "baby 5s" as we begin our yearly journey together. Either I really forgot how much my kids grew this year or this group is just a little younger than the group was last year. I suspect it's a little of both.

I was thinking about my class the other day...and then I read Aunt Annie's post regarding music and her troubled children. And my brain and heart almost exploded.

My kids are nothing like the kids Annie describes in her blog. But her words about "finding the right key to the box" hit me right where I am. That's what I so want for my classroom. In words related to my blog name, I want to find the right "mortar" that will bind me to each child. And that's individual mortar.

Throughout this summer, I've been leading conferences and talking to teachers about teaching preschoolers. And the one thing that I have said repeatedly - in almost every circumstance - is that we must remember kids are individuals. They grow and learn in similar ways, but each one is different and unique. And my relationship with each one must be built in a unique way, helping that child connect and learn and grow in his way.

So, what does that mean? I need to pull out some new ways of using building and construction - for those boys in my class who yearn for that. I need to discover ways to use storytelling - for the guy who tells me fascinating adventures each week. I need to locate more tools and props for dramatic play - for those girls who create family scenarios and act them out.

Mostly, I need to jump out of my familiar teaching rut and try some new things. I can almost feel the excitement building now.

(You also need to read Annie's post about Talon and how she's building a relationship with him. Thank you, Annie, for these posts. This is why connecting with other teachers through blogging is so important to me.)

1 comment:

  1. Scott, I'm so glad that you're feeling motivated by what I write- you have the same effect on me.

    And you know, it just occurred to me that this is why it's sooooo hard to teach new teachers how to teach- it's such a moveable feast, finding the right key to all those different boxes, that a single template just won't do. And that can be overwhelming for young teachers. It's so important that we older hands support new teachers in their learning, just as we support the children.