Friday, August 15, 2014

My Wonder Is The Evidence

Among the many things I want for the children who pass my way is that they continue through life capable of wonder, if only because they help me live my life that way. Each day after the children have left, or more often the following morning when I arrive on the premises, I take a tour of our "grounds," performing a basic safety check, making sure things are as they should be, and on most days I find reason to wonder.

Often it's a stash of treasure, collections of both like and unlike things squirreled away in corners or hidden behind something or hanging in a bucket from the branches of our lilacs. Sometimes they're not hidden at all, but rather evidence of a game interrupted or abandoned or left to return to when we reconvene the following day. What makes me wonder is that I can't know what it means and I'm left to speculate about the child or children who have created these mysteries.

Recently, I arrived in the morning to discover a large crate, turned on its side made into a diorama. I wondered what it was all about. I wondered about who had made it. Was it one child working alone or a pair or a team?

There is a kind of organizing at work here -- sorting, matching, collecting. Maybe that's what this was, an attempt to make order of a disordered world, children taking pleasure in the beautiful perfections of mathematics.

Or perhaps it's a work of art, fashioned from found objects, arranged to evoke eternal questions or express abstract ideas.

It could, of course, have been a game of commerce, a shop where precious things were bartered for, or a warehouse where those things were stored away.

I see stories here as well, tales of adventure, longing, homemaking, discovery, and loss. Maybe a tale that was shared by a small group of friends negotiating, agreeing, and inviting one another with sentences beginning with the magic word "Let's . . ."

I don't pretend to know what the children will learn when they come here to play, but I do know they're learning. My wonder is the evidence.

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1 comment:

Kimbra said...

A great post as always Teacher Tom... my daughter just wondered... "how did people KNOW Humpty Dumpty was an egg... it doesn't say that in the song..." She's 13... I hope she never stops wondering!