Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Around We Go Again

This is the time of year when we start talking about seeds and butterflies and frogs, and the circles of life associated with them. Seed, sprout, leaves, grow-grow-grow, flowers, fruit, seed, sprout, leaves, grow-grow-grow, flowers, fruit, seed, sprout . . .

Sometimes kids correct me when I use the word "circle," saying, "Teacher Tom, it's life cycle." Or they'll say, "What about when things get dead?" In fact, every year someone catches me on these points, like clockwork, like the Earth circling the sun. Like the seasons, I know the corrections are coming and I know I'll answer, "It is called the life cycle! And the life cycle is a circle." and "Yes, everything that is alive will one day die."

Teaching in a school, in the same school year after year, is a circular endeavor. Unlike parenting, which is linear, the children I teach are always cycling through the same ages and stages during the three years they're with me. Of course, every year is different, the children are different, I am different, but the circle is still there. A couple dozen two-year-olds totter through our door each September in their diapers and with their scattering. They learn our circle time songs so well they teach their parents. They turn to the side and say, "Hey" to the kids they find there, make their first orca whale and pendulum paintings, and begin to spin the hamster wheel

They'll shed those diapers and lose the scattering, then learn about raising their hands, making rules, laying a foundation for the community they began to build with that first "Hey." They'll make another orca whale painting, another pendulum painting, have another spin of the wheel. 

They'll take less interest in the "baby" songs and want to talk when we sit together on the blue rug, have conversations, participate in the debates and discussions that shape both who they are and who we are. And they'll make one more orca whale painting. And they'll have one more swing of the pendulum painter. And they'll have one last spin of the wheel while mouthing the word "centrifugal." 

Finally, where they entered toddling, they leap into the linear world out there, leaving me behind with a couple dozen new two-year-olds tottering and scattering.

And around we go again.

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1 comment:

Emily Jeanminette EDM310 said...

I never realized how linear parenting can really be. I like the idea of being able to work with the same age group and having a good idea of what to expect. Saying that, children that age can be pretty unpredictable! Thanks for the post!