Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Team No Glitter

We early childhood folks are supportive of each other and get along well with each other. However, a few issues divide us into opposing camps. A while back I wandered into the fray on one of these issues - well, I didn't just wander into the fray...I jumped right in.

Glitter. I don't use it. I don't offer it. Ever.

Now, I have nothing but friendly feelings for those in the pro-glitter arena. If you want to sprinkle that stuff all over your room, that's okay with me, as long as I'm not using the room after you!

Can you see it? Someone used glitter in the room on another day.
When I was back in it, chairs were dusted with the sparkly stuff.

I love to make a mess...but not with glitter. I love for kids to be inventive and creative...but we use lots of other things instead of glitter. Just my preference. I'm sure you have yours, too.

But, just to show you that I'm not opposed to a little glitziness, take a look at what we did a couple of weeks ago.


Yep. That's glitter paint at the easel. I don't mind glitter as long as it's already encapsulated in paint or glue. I don't look at that as glitter - it's a type of paint or glue medium. So my kids do get some glitzy experiences. Just not free-range glitter.



I need to let my kids have the same freedom. Some don't want to draw or paint. Some don't want to touch the shaving cream. (I once had a 2-year-old that refused to get his hands dirty.) If I'm going to be a teacher that allows kids to explore their own ideas, I need to be accepting of their self-imposed limits.

Some don't like to talk in front of the group. Some prefer to play alone or with just one or two friends. Some think things get too loud.

I need to plan activities that allow kids to be successful doing what they enjoy...and not doing what they choose not to do. (But, sorry, no glitter. How about a nice scoop of sand instead?)

14 comments:

  1. I wasn't sure where you were going with this at first, Scott - but I REALLY appreciate where you ended up! I hadn't really thought about it before, but now that you bring it up, it seems to me we tend to think of our own preferences as perfectly rationale and worthy of others' respect; we think of other adults' preferences as quirky, annoying or ridiculous; and we think of children's preferences as limitations to be "broadened" (at best) or deficits to be "fixed" (at worst).
    Thanks (again!) for prodding my thinking, Scott!

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Kathy. I like the way to expressed how we tend to view our own preferences and the preferences of others.

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  2. Great point - it drives me mad when a child is 'forced' to participate in something they do not wish to a participant in.

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  3. I hate it when the carers insist on pushing a child into play they don't want to do! As a kid who liked to play alone, I defend that right to the hilt. :)

    And I agree with Kathy's comment. Great food for thought.

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    1. I think I'm coming from the same place, Annie. Speaking in front of others was always a challenge for me as a kid. And when pushed to do it, I always had a very overwhelmingly unhappy experience. When I chose to do it (sometimes with encouragement but not insistence), I always felt such accomplishment. I think that's the line we must walk.

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  4. That is a pathetic attempt to try and get us off your case Scott!! LOL! GO TEAM GLITTER!!

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    1. Best I can do, Deborah. As someone said on my FB page, for me glitter is a "controlled substance." :)

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  5. Although I'm a certified member of the pro-glitter league, I often ponder how long it would take for glitter to decompose in a landfill. And that is why I am on the pro-food side of the 'using food in art' debate (pending cultural considerations of course).

    But seriously, I was just telling my husband about how baffled I am that MOST of what children become by the time they leave preschool is based on genetics and their family, not on how I "mold" them.

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    1. Great thought, Stephanie. We aren't molding them, just helping them shape what they naturally are.

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  6. Pro-glitter all the way over here :) Try adding some to your playdough every now and then as another way to 'encapsulate' it!

    Your point is interesting and I always felt the same way until I heard a teacher from Reggio Emilia speak at a conference. I remember her saying, “The ‘educator’ has a responsibility to move the child from what is comfortable to new areas of investigation. A child can’t stay in the block corner forever.” Which I took to mean, encouraging children to try new things is a good thing, even if sometimes it challenges their comfort level in some way. And that for us, as teachers, it is about finding ways to encourage children to feel good and confident about exploring new ideas or concepts, and that you never know, it might just lead them to discovering a new passion or interest that they had never before realised.

    This teaching caper sure raises a lot of questions, huh???

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    1. I agree, Christie. We should encourage kids to try new things, too. I think it's a fine line we must walk to encourage kids to try something new and to force kids to do something they are choosing not to do.

      And I've not had glitter in play dough - something to try.

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  7. I was always "that kid" who ended up with speckles of glitter in my eye. I learned from a young age that glitter is from Satan's Craft Shack. So, let me say boldly that even though I teach older kids, I will be a loud evangelist of Team No Glitter.

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