Thursday, February 14, 2013

Goofing Around

During the rest of the year, I rarely think how our little play-based preschool might look to the "outside" world, but these are the weeks when parents are touring with an eye toward enrolling their precious children in Woodland Park.

Almost every day, in all 3 of our classes, small groups of adults, some of whom I know, some of whom I don't, come into our classroom, and stand out of the way while we, quite frankly, are doing what very well might look to the uninitiated like goofing around. 

I hope that most of them are here because they've heard a little bit about us from alumni or the parent grapevine, or perhaps have engaged in some research into play-based education, or have at least done a little reading here on the blog, because otherwise it's quite likely we look as if we're just goofing around.

It's high quality goofing around, no question, I mean the kids in these pictures are doing something they did almost every day for a week or so, during tours, whereby they collected a drum, an old weather worn marimba, and a garbage can lid to play a cacophony, while chanting in their best imitation of Teacher Tom, "All the children into the blue rug." Looked at from a certain perspective, you know, it might come off as just goofing around.

One of the things that throws me a little, is that as a cooperative, any parents in the room are typically down on their knees, right in the middle of the action, while these touring parents are standing, usually off to the side, politely staying out of the way. It seems like, from that perspective, those three guys, for instance, who were putting egg timers into our large wooden blocks, picking them up, then calling them "egg timer elevators" might have seemed a little like they were just goofing around.

And, you know, it didn't help too much when I looked up from where Jasper, Keane, Luella and I were hanging out under the loft, lying on pillows, doing nothing but saying to each other, "We're just goofing around."

I mean, naturally, we're aware, whether through direct knowledge or pure instinct, that "we are here on Earth to fart around," and that anyone who tries to tell us different is wrong, but not everyone knows this and I have this thing where I want to make a good first impression. Would it be too much to ask that a few of the kids be happily engaged in spontaneously singing the A-B-C song when those tours come through, instead of, as happened last week, wondering aloud during circle time whether or not they would have to wash their hands if they picked each other's noses. It just sounds a little too much like goofing around.

Of course, one can also hope that goofing around is exactly what they're looking for.

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1 comment:

The Knitty Gritty Homestead said...

I've wondered the same thing. About noses. :)
I encourage daydreaming and goofing around...natural states for children and grownups who haven't forgotten!

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