Friday, April 28, 2017

Anything Is a Possibility

blocks and basket (Brick by Brick)

Sometimes in my church kindergarten class I take a lot of photos. When I look back through those, I'm often reminded about things that I forgot. I came across this one again today. As I look at it, several things come to mind.

  1. So many things happen in a classroom each week. I forget most of them. A remark or a shared activity will often formulate in my mind. But often I forget about the moments - big and small - without reminders. I need to take photos and/or write down things to remember.
  2. Lots of learning happens in the classroom each week that isn't planned. These will also probably not be remembered individually but become part of the foundational knowledge in the child's learning.
  3. Children are creative. They see everything as a possible resource for what they are doing.
This last one has come up before. And this photo reminds me again that I put limits on my thinking so often. A basket is for holding things. I don't consider it as a possible building item. If I were working in a blocks center and needed something for the top of my building, I would have overlooked this basket. It doesn't fit my definition of building item. But my friend saw it, decided to try it, and figured out how to use it in his structure.

We do the same for children. We see them in a particular light or through a particular lens. We try to figure out how they tick and interpret everything by our conclusions. "She's quiet. She won't be interested in doing this." "He is active. He will not sit down to do that." And so forth.

But at this age...well, at just about any age...anything is a possibility. With encouragement or freedom or availability, children will do things that are completely different from our expectations. I've seen the quiet child loudly and actively engaged in a game. I've seen the active child quietly absorbed in a book or art project. We are often too quick to categorize or label or conclude. I must remember that anything is a possibility.

I'm seeing that in my own life in my current journey. I tend to label certain actions or types of situations as "teacher" and discount or overlook others. I see myself as good at certain things or able to do other things and not see beyond these limited definitions. Maybe this photo needs to be on my desk or bulletin board to remind me to think in different ways and try out other ideas.

After all - anything is a possibility.

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